Supporting Everest ER through a Trek to Nepal
Organized by: Sarah Frances McClure
Sarah Frances McClure via Crowdrise
November 09, 2015
I am traveling to Nepal in March 2016 and need your help. The profit and awareness from this trek helps to support the mission of the Everest ER and provides local porters and their families with items such as health insurance and weather/activity appropriate clothing.
Background: The mission of the Everest ER is “to provide altitude-experienced compassionate quality healthcare and preventative education to the climbing community, their support staff and trekking-through public in base camp, using proceeds from this care to subsidize free/low cost health care for the Sherpa people of the Khumbu region of Nepal.” Dr. Freer, MD, FACEP, FAWM, founder and visionary of the Everest ER, is well known in the wilderness medicine community as someone who extensively researched the need for unbiased medical care to ease tension between guides and Sherpa people on Mount Everest, gathered the appropriate financial, governmental, and social support for this clinic, and connected the proceeds of the medical care of tourists to support the healthcare of the Sherpa people.
This year disaster struck Nepal - an earthquake wreaked havoc across the country and left the country in shambles, with many issues yet to be answered. I had the privilege to listen to Dr. Rachel Tullet, MD and Dr. Meg Walmsley, MD, the physicians on duty when an ice avalanche covered the middle third of Everest base camp during the earthquake. They spoke about how they quickly assembled a disaster response team to care for the wounded, dead, and psychologically injured – moving the entire ER across the rocky and icy base camp, using whatever resources they could find under the ice to provide relief for their patients. Their words resonated intensely within my heart as these strong physicians held back tears and attempted to explain what happened on Everest over the days they were caring for guides, climbers, cooks, expedition physicians, and other support staff until they were able to begin evacuation. I listened intently as they described the incredible and unbiased attention they were giving to those who died and to those who were not physically injured during those days, despite all of the trauma and chaos surrounding them and despite being victims of the same trauma themselves. Dr. Freer then explained the conditions of Nepal after the Earthquake and the political and economic issues that the country will face for the next 10-15 years. She explained the healthcare crisis as roads were destroyed from rural villages, and she described her attempts to reach those villages in the weeks following the earthquake.
Schedule: March 9-23 – Pikey Peak Trek with Luanne Freer, MD, FACEP, FAWM and Eric Johnson, MD, FAWM
- Visit a location where a new hospital will be built
- Visit Sir Edmund Hospital in Kunde – Sherpa med school
- Learn about rural and international medicine as well as diseases that are rarely seen in the United States but that are important for travel medicine
March 23-April 10 – Everest Experience with Luanne Freer, MD, FACEP, FAWM and Rachel Tullet, MD
- Learn about the need for Everest ER, including how supporting tourism of the mountain helps fund medical care for the Sherpa families
- Learn about Environmental Medicine – altitude, cold weather exposure and injuries, trauma Assist in assessments and treatment of patients along the trek to basecamp
- Spend 2 nights in the basecamp of Everest
As an Anthropology major, paramedic, and former competitive rock climber, I feel a strong connection to the disaster in Nepal and the mission of the Everest ER. The issues that will be discussed while on this trek are much deeper than the Earthquake and aftermath in Nepal; they are cultural, political, and economic. This is a unique, once in a lifetime, opportunity to learn about international medicine, rural medicine, travel medicine, disaster medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, wilderness medicine, healthcare in Nepal, international health politics and health economy; my mentor will be a strong, well-respected female physician who has gained respect in the paternalistic society of Nepal and who discusses these healthcare issues directly with the prime minister of the country. I am incredibly fortunate to be presented with this opportunity this year, and hope you will be a part of this opportunity by donating what you can. Thank you for taking the time to read this proposal and for considering how you may be able to be a part of this opportunity. Please see additional resources attached to this proposal for more information.
Sarah Frances McClure
Resources Trek information
http://wms.org/conferences/everest16/default.asp Everest ER http://www.everester.org/AboutUs.aspx
Dr. Tullet and Dr. Walmsley’s story
Sir Edmund Hospital