LATEST: British film director Michael Winner has narrowly escaped death after beating a rare disease he caught from eating an oyster. Winner contracted Vibrio vulnificus - a virus that lives in warm water and is transmitted through swimming with open wounds or by eating shellfish - while holidaying in Barbados over Christmas (DEC06). The bug commonly kills people within 32 hours of infection, but the 72-year-old cheated death by jetting back to a private clinic in London and undergoing a gruelling 10 week series of eleven operations that cost him a staggering $1.45 million (GBP750,000). The Death Wish director says, "I started shaking uncontrollably. It was obvious to everyone but me I was very ill. "I lost control of my bodily functions. "When this illness gets you, every organ in your body collapses. "You've got to bring every single organ back to life again."