SUPERVET Noel Fitzpatrick was left ‘suicidal’ after devastating malpractice accusations and a string of complaints.
The veterinary surgeon fitted three bionic limbs to Hermes the tortoise after they were chewed off by rats while it was hibernating.
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick has revealed how he felt suicidal after being accused of malpracticeCredit: Channel 4
The vet had carried out surgery on a tortoise which then died a few months laterCredit: Handout
However, Hermes died a couple of months later in 2018 from what Noel believed was a suspected gastroenteric issue.
This lead a number of vets to complain to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which Noel, 53, discussed during a recent appearance on Desert Island Discs.
The TV star, who was eventually cleared, said: “What was going through my head was, ‘Is it ethical to try and save this animal’s life even if it is possible?’
“Just because something is possible doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”
“I was suicidal. That’s the nuts and bolts of it.”
He continued: “Having taken all that advice and gone through dozens of hours of planning we set out to take off the infected portions of the limbs and subsequently we did implant three bionic limbs… which were actually working very well when unfortunately Hermes the tortoise had a probable gastroenteric problem and died. But that was well after what I had done.
“We were very transparent about that on the show. But a number of veterinarians complained to my governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, that I was guilty of malpractice.”
Noel insisted he has ” no acrimony” against those who complained, despite how it left him feeling.
He said: “They are trying to do the right thing. They are trying to look after the welfare of the animal as they see it.
“But in this case they felt I didn’t look after the ethical welfare of Hermes enough and they wouldn’t have done it. They would not have offered this option to Hermes.”
He confessed: “I was suicidal. That’s the nuts and bolts of it.”
Thankfully Noel had the support of his girlfriend, their dogs and cats to get him through the tough period.
The Supervet airs on Channel 4.
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