Ruth Whiteley: her story in pictures
Taking on Lord Sugar and his boardroom challenge was the goal Ruth Whiteley needed to get through her health issues, as she tells Sarah Brealey.
Getting the news
"When I was told I had a heart problem, I felt like my whole life had been tipped upside down. Everything just stopped."
“When your heart doesn’t do what it is supposed to, it makes you question everything. I thought: ‘What is happening to me?’”
Heart rhythm symptoms
“I could be asleep and wake up with my heart going at nearly 200 beats per minute.”
“It felt strange having an ablation, because you are conscious. I felt it was like being part of a magician’s show.”
“The [ablation] was life-changing. So I thought: ‘I can’t just let this go, I have got to do something I never thought I would be able to do... As a businesswoman who’s watched The Apprentice for 11 years, that’s what I wanted to aim for.”
“The boardroom tasks are very stressful. You have to be totally on the ball. You don’t know what you’re going to be asked. They take your pen and paper away before you go in, as well as your money, your phone – everything.”
“I think it is right that I left when I did. Although I would have liked to stay on, it was incredibly stressful... I know I am now better, bigger and stronger as a result of being in there.”