father-of-two has started his climb of Mount Everest despite doctors telling him it is unlikely he will come back.

Funeral director and former body builder, Nick Jones, 50, from Westbury made the decision to do climb despite his doctor’s advice and set off with his team of climbers on Friday morning. They are due home in mid-


Mr Jones was diagnosed with malignant hypertension, a terminal illness that attacks the heart and internal organs, eight years ago and has since suffered numerous health scares which have led to shock treatments to re-start his heart.

The team are raising money for the Nick Jones Foundation for Bereaved Children, which Mr Jones set up to support his own children, and others, after he dies.

His doctor, Rob Lowe from Bath RUH, has told him that it is likely that his climb to Everest could kill him, but Mr Jones is hopeful that he will make it to base camp, and possibly even Island Peak, at just over 20,000ft.

Mr Jones said: “I have been given a medical magnet to take to tape on my chest for my heart.

“The cardiac team told me and Sean, one of the climb team, that the assent to camp one and Island Peak is one that will take my life, but I hope my loved ones are aware of the horrid way this condition so painfully kills you, and can understand why I am doing this climb.

“I don’t want to sit around and wait to die.

“I had to prepare my children by pulling them aside and telling them that this could be it, which was very difficult, but they are behind me all the way as is everyone else.

“We, as a team, know it will be difficult, but we have raised so much money that will go towards a foundation that will carry on long after I am gone.

“I don’t know what to expect.

“I am confident about reaching Everest base camp, but climbing to Island Peak, which is another few thousand feet higher, is daunting but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far.”

So far Mr Jones has raised almost £4,000. To donate to The Nick Jones Foundation for Bereaved Children, visit their Go Fund Me page at www.go fundme.com/NickJones Foundation.