Nelson woman rescued from Mount Everest

Alex Hendry
Alex Hendry

A PENDLE woman has survived a serious health scare in Nepal after successfully hiking to Mount Everest’s Base Camp.

Alex Hendry (53), of Ringstone Crescent, Nelson, was doing the sponsored charity climb in April for Children with Leukaemia before suffering with an eye problem and then a minor heart attack.

Before the trip, Alex said that if the notoriously short and dangerous runway at Lukla Aiport in Nepal didn’t get her, the mountain would; and she was nearly right.

After successfully completing the nine day walk from Lukla to Base Camp, Alex found that she was struggling to see out of her left eye, which became progressively worse.

She was then airlifted off the mountain by helicopter and flown for two hours to an eye clinic in Kathmandu where she saw a doctor.

However, while there, Alex suffered two sharp chest pains and was then rushed across the Nepalese capital to the Norvic International Hospital where she underwent an operation immediately to put a stent in one of her arteries.

Following five days in a coronary care unit (CCU) in the hospital, Alex was allowed to leave hospital and catch her scheduled flight home.

But the drama didn’t end there as her flight was delayed, arriving back in the UK late, and Alex was rushed to a hospital near Chertsey in Surrey for a check-up, having worked herself into a stress thinking she was going to miss her connecting flight.

Despite the ordeal, though, Alex is recovering at home, having enjoyed the adventure up to Base Camp, and was full of praise for the medical staff in Nepal.

She said: “The trip itself was absolutely amazing. Base Camp is a place that you have to be there to believe it. It’s just a shame I couldn’t complete the trip back down again.

“When we started the walk back down the mountain, my eye started to cloud up and I was struggling to see. I thought it was the altitude, but it got worse so I saw the group doctor and he said I’ve got to get you off the mountain.

“I was taken to an eye clinic in Kathmandu by helicopter where a specialist said the surface of my eye was scratched. I had a really bad chest pain and was then taken to hospital where the surgeon said one of the arteries to my heart was basically flat and that he needed to operate straight away.

“From first suffering with my eye, to having a heart operation to being put on a CCU unit was eight hours in total. The treatment was absolutely fantastic.”

Alex has raised just about £1,500 so far for Children with Leukaemia, and the charity remains close to her heart as she lost her son Paul to the disease in 1982 and her neighbours’ lost their son Matthew to the same disease in 2008.

You can still donate money to Alex’s chosen charity by visiting www.bmycharity.com/alexhendry