Olympic triathlete Brownlee is felled by ‘horrible’ attack of appendicitis

AS HIS sporting rivals can testify, it takes an awful lot to stop Olympic triathlon hero Alistair Brownlee in his tracks.

Proof that he is human after all, however, has now come in the uncomfortable shape of an attack of appendicitis.

The Olympic gold medalist has revealed he fell “horribly ill” last week while travelling to the airport ahead of a trip to Brazil.

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He was taken into Leeds General Infirmary, where he had his appendix removed before being discharged the following day.

But, painful as it might have been, the bout of ill-health did not lead to a sense of humour failure for Mr Brownlee, whose father, Keith, works at LGI as a consultant paediatrician. The triathlete took a break from his recovery to joke on Twitter that he might put his appendix up for sale on auction website eBay.

He also wrote: “Got horribly ill last week, went into hospital with a sore tummy and came out 2 days later. Thanks Dad and the NHS!”

Despite featuring in his son’s thank you message, Dr Brownlee did not perform the removal of the troublesome appendix. It is understood Mr Brownlee called his father after getting stomach pains as he set out for Heathrow Airport.

Dr Brownlee told his son to come to see him, then sent him straight to the accident and emergency department at LGI. Appendix problems were diagnosed and Mr Brownlee then underwent surgery.

Dr Brownlee said yesterday: “The whole family was absolutely delighted at the care and treatment Alistair received from the doctors, nurses and other staff at Leeds General Infirmary.”

Mr Brownlee, 24, provided one of the most memorable images of this summer’s Olympics when he crossed the triathlon finishing line with a spectator’s Union flag wrapped around his shoulders. He was joined on the podium by his 22-year-old brother Jonny, who took bronze in the event.

The Brownlees live in Bramhope, Leeds, and went to Far Headingley’s Richmond House School before moving to Bradford Grammar School. Their mother, Cath, also works in medicine, as a GP.