A South Tyneside adventurer with his sights set on completing a mammoth mountain mission was brought back down to earth by a health scare during a visit to Africa.
Steve Berry was admitted to hospital and put on a saline drip after contracting malaria in Uganda.
I was feeling unwell for four days thinking it was simply man fluSteve Berry
Mr Berry is in the country to support a life-changing bore-hole-drilling project to bring fresh water to a village of refugees.
The 59-year-old is taking part in the scheme, as well leading expeditions in Tanzania and Mongolia during the summer, to help raise funds for his efforts to complete a bid to climb the seven highest mountains on all seven continents.
Mr Berry has already scaled six of the seven – Mount Everest in the Himalayas, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, Argentina’s Aconcagua, Mount Denali in Alaska and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, as well as Elbrus in Russia, with only Mount Vinson, near the South Pole, left to conquer.
Despite his spell in hospital, he is now back busily at work in Uganda, ahead of his return home to Central Avenue, in South Shields, next Thursday.
Mr Berry said: “I was feeling unwell for four days thinking it was simply man flu.
“However, by day four, I was pretty bad and was admitted immediately to hospital and put on a drip with a cocktail of saline steroids and anti-malarial antibiotics.
“I was stung by a scorpion last year in Zambia, but I’d rather suffer multiple scorpion stings than go through malaria again.”
Mr Berry hopes to be able tackle 16,050ft-high Mount Vinson in January next year.