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Mountally challenged => Harry's Everest 2005 trip updates => Topic started by: Romke on May 13 2005, 12:35

Title: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: Romke on May 13 2005, 12:35
Press release, Everest BC, 12 May 2005
By Harry Kikstra, 7summits.com

After long deliberation with several doctors, both in the flesh as well as using the telephone, Noel & Lynne have decided to abandon the 7summits.com/7summits-club.com expedition.

Noel's eyesight suddenly got worse 2 weeks ago in ABC. Within 24 hours both eyes had a blur, preventing him from focusing. Noel went down to the non-existent hospital in Zhangmu at 2200m, but there was no difference when staying there. Also his trip to North Col did not seem to have made any difference, his vision got better nor worse.
Yesterday the initial diagnosis by our team doctor Andrey was confirmed by an international team of doctors when looking into his eyes with an opthalmoscope. Both his eyes have suffered from bilateral retinal haemorrhages in the macular era resulting in bilateral blurred vision: blood has leaked into his eyes.

(http://7summits.com/media/everest/Doctor Andrey.JPG)
Doctor Andrey

Any further ascent could make the situation much worse, even leading to permanent loss of vision.
Although Noel initially wanted to take the risk, our conversations with doctors, guides and family have convinced him to abandon his plans for this year.
Lynne has decided not to climb without Noel, though she was strong enough to go for the summit, and she will be joining Noel home.

The next few days we will get their gear down from ABC, if all goes well, they will leave for Kathmandu on monday, arriving tuesday.

I speak for all of the team if I say that we will miss Noel & Lynne's great energy, sense of humour and Irish joy of life. It is a real shame that something so small and random can end the expedition of 2 people who are mentally and physically among the strongest. But losing one's eyesight is one of the most terrible things that can happen and we support the decison made 100%, however tough it has been.

Lynne and Noel

Harry Kikstra
Harry @ 7summits.com
Title: 12th May: Tough decisions, high pressure and masks
Post by: Romke on May 13 2005, 12:40
This morning Noel and Lynne have decided to call it quits. The risk is too high for Noel to be permanently blinded if he goes up again and the situation repeats itself.

Though it was not unexpected, the rest of the Fat Bastards club was still shocked and as mentioned in the pressrelease, they will be missed enormously in the final weeks of the expedition.

Further today we did some testing with air, oxygen and pressure. First we put Jamie in our Gamov bag, a strong flexible plastic cylinder that is used to simulate lower altitude for climbers with altitude disease if they cannot be brought down immediately.
The bag is sealed and we pump air in it using a simple footpump. Within minutes Jamie's altimeter drops from 5300m to 4300m, due to the increase in pressure.
This device can be live saving, and it is good to know it works!

(http://7summits.com/media/everest/gamov bag.JPG)
The Gamov bag

(http://7summits.com/media/everest/Altitude inside gamov bag.JPG)
Altitude inside the Gamov bag

After our lunch meeting where we discussed our 2 teams and the provisional schedule (nothing solid yet, weather unreliable) we did some more high pressure things: testing the oxygen masks, replacing a cylinder halfway. We will need to do this at the 2nd step,maybe in the dark, so practice is very useful...

Song of the day:
Queen David Bowie - Under pressure
"Under pressure, pressing down on me...
Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: MoT on May 13 2005, 15:34
That's a terrible pity folks! Hopefully you'll both be able to finish things some other time...

Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: karen.kerr on May 13 2005, 20:50
Lynne and Noel
I am so proud of you both.You did a fantastic job.
The Toyota ad. says " What's the point in having dreams if you are not going to make them happen"
Well done to two people who chase their dreams- it's not over yet!!
Looking forward to seeing you both soon
All my love
Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: annhall on May 13 2005, 21:24
lynne and noel best wshes from all in whitehead.we can all appreciate the siutation and realise that your decisions had to be based on the long term ....we send you are love and thoughts at this time and hope that what you have experienced in such a changing and magnificent landscape will always be with you. Keep strong and the girls are looking forward to seeing you both. all our love ann
Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: Mary Clare on May 14 2005, 00:01
Hello to all

I am in awe of this amazing expedition...the recent pictures say so much.  The smiling faces of the children that live in this mystical place, the "catapillar" tent at night while the most difficult decision of this trip is taking place for Noel and Lynn.  The quaint village.  It is all so amazing!!!  There is so much more to climbing Everest than conquering the highest point on earth.  I know that Noel and Lynn will have this experience to keep in their hearts forever!  Something tells me that Noel and Lynn may be back.

To John

I just saw the pictures on Alex's web-site with the short "bios".  You look great with your beard...very distingished and handsome!  I am so proud of you, John.  You are truly living your dreams.  I love your determination and sense of adventure!  I hope you have been able to read the lyrics to the song I wrote for this expedition.  You are an inspiration to me.

Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: wynn and Bill on May 15 2005, 16:22
Hi Guys
           We are so sorry and we are feeling for you  But a good decision  We are SO proud of you two and hope Noel.s eye sight returns to normal soon
            The Champaign is coolins nicely
         Love you both  See you soon  Call or text as soon as you can
            WYNN AND BILL
Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: MournesMan on May 16 2005, 07:28
Yes I've already posted on the tragic decision to leave the expedition - I'm sure it must have been agonising.  I see you aren't that far down the road from me - Lurgan!!

Will the eyes recover completely?  What can they do?  Is it a case of simply draining the blood from the eyes or dispersing it?

Would love to know more?

I do hope it will all work out ok for you Noel - I'm sure you both will be back for some "unfinished business"
Title: Re: 12th-may: Tragic decisions
Post by: Michael Sosnowy on May 16 2005, 19:09

Looking good with the beard. good luck with summitting ole country boy.


Sorry to hear that you had to make a choice like this. Though you did the right thing by not compounding a precarious position with a bad decision.

Good luck,