Mistakenly Told He Would Die, Comedian Wipes Out Savings on Bucket List

The Bucket List From left to right, Jack Nicholson, Ian Anthony Dale and Morgan Freeman cross off another adventure from their "The Bucket List."
AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures
Queen Latifah, left, plays a woman misdiagnosed with a fatal illness who embarks on a dream vacation in Europe in "Last Holiday." British comedian Dave Ismay just revealed that he spent his life savings on his bucket list before doctors told him they had misdiagnosed his liver condition when they told him it was fatal.
AP Photo/Paramount Pictures

British Comedian Dave Ismay was told he had just three months to live because  a life of boozing had given him deadly liver cirrhosis.

So he spent all his money trying to check off every item on his 'bucket list."

Then, in a scene straight out of Queen Latifah's "Last Holiday," Ismay was told by doctors 10 weeks later that they got it all wrong. Ismay's liver was not failing. In fact, he was just suffering from a treatable hereditary condition called haemochromatosis, too much iron in the blood, The Daily Mail, a U.K. newspaper. reports.

Ismay, a longtime professional partner of famed comedian Bob Monkhouse, told the paper that being informed he was going to die put everything in perspective.

Ismay said

he thought the diagnosis was odd, given that he wasn't much of a drinker, but set about dealing with it in the best way he thought possible: completing his bucket list.

Ismay, 64, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leiceistershire, said: "When I got back from the doctors the first thing I did was sit down and write my bucket list - the list of things I wanted to do while I was still around.'"

The concept of a bucket list was popularized by the film of the same name starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. However, Ismay's story is more like that of Queen Latifah's in "Last Holiday," whose character is also wrongly told by doctors she is going to die before spending her life savings.

Ismay's bucket list had seven main things on it:

1) Finish a book about his professional life with Bob Monkhouse

2) Buy a Mercedes

3) Appear in a local theater production

4) Golf at the famed K Club in Ireland

5) Visit Australia

6) Take his 3-year-old grandson to Villa Park (a soccer stadium)

7) Achieve Immortality

Ismay blew his most of his life savings and managed to complete everything but numbers 5 and 7 on his list, although his latest diagnosis may be an argument that all he has left to do is visit The Land Down Under.

"I might have written 'immortality' on the list thinking I would never achieve it, but it turns out I wasn't as far off as I imagined," Ismay said, adding that he still plans on visiting Australia with his wife.

For his part, Ismay said he has no hard feelings about the doctor who wrongly diagnosed him, although that does not mean he can forget the mistake.

"I said since he wasn't going to be invited to my funeral, he wouldn't be coming to my party either," Ismay said. "I've since changed to a completely different specialist."

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at