Dream of climbing Mount Everest ends tragically for Vancouver anesthesiologist
A Vancouver man has died while trying to fulfill his lifelong dream of climbing Mount Everest, his family and colleagues confirm.
Pieter Swart, 63, died while descending below Camp IV – the last major stage before the summit – after suffering an ‘indefinite respiratory event’, according to a statement from the head of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Columbia, where Swart worked as an associate professor.
“We lost Pieter as he bravely pursued his dream of being on top of the world, since he was nine years old. As many of you know, Pieter had an insatiable wanderlust,” Hamed wrote. Umedaly in a statement Thursday.
Swart died on Thursday while at about 8,000 meters above sea level, an area commonly referred to as “the death zone” by mountaineers because oxygen levels at this altitude are so down.
It is believed he was climbing with Madison Mountaineering, according to a posting on the company’s website.
He is remembered as a “loving family man”, a “trusted friend” and a force for good whose sense of humor was “unparalleled”.
Swart’s colleagues say he was a seasoned leader and educator who inspired many and was always a pleasure to work with.
“He was the fabric of our profession and made us all proud to be a colleague,” Umedaly wrote, adding that Swart left a “strong legacy of contribution.”
According to Vancouver Coastal Health, Swart has worked at Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital for the past 19 years.
In a statement, the health authority said he was a well-known and respected doctor who will be missed by his colleagues in the health care community.
“He was an exceptional anesthetist and perioperative physician and had a remarkable ability to communicate with patients, trainees and staff while performing countless procedures over the years. He was a true leader in his profession, inspiring all who worked alongside him,” VCH wrote.
Although a date has yet to be set, plans for a celebration of life are in the works.
According to Nepalese media reports, this is the 12th death of the season on Mount Everest.
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