Search for the X-Gene

“Close your eyes… and Imagine…

Spin drift hits your face, it stings through your balaclava…

You cover your face with your mittens, but even without windchill, it’s minus 35 Celsius…

In the distance you see an object, it’s hard to focus, but as you approach you realise a five year journey is coming to an end…

A journey that started with fire… Has now ended with Ice…

The object now comes into focus…

You have reached the Geographical South Pole…

You are Rob Small…

You now have a hell of a story to tell”…

In January 2010, dive instructor Rob Small was engulfed in a fire. He suffered 43% burns and was given a 1 in 4 chance of survival. Ten days past without medical care or pain killers. Mass infection set in.

He's alive! But how? Now science wants to find out.

In December 2016 he will walk to the South Pole. However he will not be alone. Joining him will be three leading doctors, hoping to discover a hidden code deep in Rob’s DNA

The theory? What kept him alive after the fire might also save him from the physical stress and icy conditions of the South Pole.

They’re calling it the X Gene… Does Rob Small have it?

In a series of three one-hour films ‘Search for the X Gene’ we will follow Rob Small’s remarkable mission to the South Pole. Unravelling a unique story of human survival, while hoping to unearth one of the big questions of medical science - in a devastating trauma what keeps someone alive when others perish?

NB: The grand-daughter of the legendary polar explorer The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton offers her full support to this expedition.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Coulthard