- Countries visited – Iraq, UAE, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, DRCongo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Chad, Zanzibar, Madagascar, South Africa and all over Kenya.
- 73,000 miles flown, which is nearly three times around the world.
- My work as a volunteer has provided over $33,000 USD which has been saved by the charity.
Faculty Dr Luanne Freer, leader of our Mountain Medicine Course
In 1999, emergency room doctor Luanne Freer was invited on a volunteer medical mission to a remote Himalayan village in Nepal. Upon her group’s arrival, Freer was greeted by 600 villagers, many of whom had walked for days just to be seen at the clinic. “They were lacking basic healthcare,” Freer says. “I felt like I could offer something meaningful.” Back in her home base of Montana, Freer found herself eager to return to Nepal.Three years later, while volunteering at a clinic in Pheriche, Nepal, Freer hiked to Everest Base Camp. She discovered that only a few of the climbing expedition teams there included doctors with high-altitude training. Freer, who had the requisite knowledge from her years working in the Northern Rockies, was even more dismayed to learn that the area’s native Sherpa and Rai populations were sometimes turned away by the foreign expeditions’ doctors. She was determined to find a way to provide better medical care to both climbers and the hundreds of Nepalese working on Everest.In the spring of 2003, Freer founded Everest E.R.—a small clinic at Base Camp that operates during the two-and-a-half-month climbing season. The clinic supplies free and heavily subsidized medical care to locals by charging climbing teams a nominal fee. During its first year, Freer dealt with malfunctioning equipment and flooding (in addition to freezing temperatures and no electricity). But the memory of the first life she saved—a Nepali porter dying of cerebral edema—brought her back the following year. Since then the clinic has continued to grow: In 2003 it treated 84 patients; in 2012 it saw 570. Today nearly every expedition relies on Everest E.R. for medical care. But Freer, 55, says her connections with the local people are the greatest reward of all. “I have tangible evidence that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life,” she says. “If I never picked up another stethoscope, I would still feel complete.”
Cannes may have LaVie D’Adele, Berlinale the Child Pose and Venice some other film most of us will never see but the Big Three have nothing on the World Extreme Medicine Expositions First Annual Film Festival. We will have sharks, penguins, avalanches, glaciers, maybe sharks eating a penguin on a glacier and much more! Not to mention popcorn!
We all have something to share from our experiences and adventures and this is opportunity to do it.
We will be holding a film festival on October 29, 2013 from 19:30 – 22:30 at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.
This is a chance to display your photos and/or videos of your own “Extreme Adventures”, wildlife, or unique experiences.
Submissions are being limited to 1 entry per participant and presentations should not exceed 10 minutes. Send submissions to [email protected]
If you would like to make a donation to Extreme Medicine Conferences charity partner ‘Child in Hand’ it would be greatly appreciated.
We hope to see you there!
Stephen P. Wood,ACNP-BC,MS
Associate Director, Harvard Affiliated EMS/Disaster Medicine Fellowship Harvard Medical School Disaster Section
Inpired by Andrew Peacocks photo of him in action in Papua New Guinea we are going to run a little medical photo competition*
Post up on Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s Facebook page your best photo of medics in action – it must either be you or a photo taken by you and you need to explain the story behind the image and where the image was taken geographically
The winner will receive a £50 Amazon voucher courtesy of EWM & US$150 off entry to Extreme Medicine 2013.
*Terms & Conditions apply see below for details..
Terms & Conditions
Deadline for entries is August 31st 2013
- The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
- All entries must be via EWM’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/#/ExpeditionMedicine
- All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any images they submit have been taken with the permission of the subject and do not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws. Entrants must warrant that the photograph they are submitting is their own work and that they own the copyright for it.
- Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the Competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to EWM to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their website and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.
- The winning entry will be that that is judged to be the most visually appealing, original and self-explanatory. The winner will be notified within seven days of the closing date of the competition
- One entrant shall win a Amazon gift Voucher worth £100 plus discounted entry to the Extreme Medicine Conference 2013
- English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.
For nearly four years I’ve sent out Marty’s dispatches… and today I have to send out the one that I dreaded most. It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that both Marty and Denali have been killed in an avalanche on K2.
I’ve been away for a week and before I left, Marty asked me to make sure somebody else would be able to receive news from him during my absence. He sent my colleague two texts last week and when I came in the office today I was keen to get those out to you. I secretly hoped for a call from the summit soon as Marty had indicated that they might aim for a final push on the 28th or 29th. In his messages Marty referred to bad weather and heavy snowfall and how they were planning to climb to Camp 3 on the 26th of July to assess the situation to see if they could carry on. He also expressed his excitement, again, to form the first father and son team to reach the summit of K2
Before I could share these messages with you, news started to trickle through about Marty and Denali missing on the mountain. We spent the afternoon trying to get a clearer picture of what happened, as I was reluctant to base any information on snippets that quickly spread over the internet. With all his experience and skills the rumours simply couldn’t be true. But eventually I managed to talk to Chris Warner at K2 BC and he confirmed that on the 26th of July Marty and Denali decided to climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3, while the other climbers on the mountain opted to abandon their attempts and return to BC. Chris was in contact with Marty and Denali before nightfall, but couldn’t establish contact on the 27th. Eventually two Sherpa climbers went up to look for Marty and Denali and when one of them made it to Camp 3 he saw that the camp had been hit by a large avalanche. He found crampons and ice axes belonging to Marty and Denali, indicating that they probably weren’t climbing when the avalanche struck. Chris told me they were most likely hit during their sleep and have been buried under the snow.
There will be no further search parties going up. The conditions are too dangerous and all activity on K2 has been suspended.
We all know that mountaineering comes with risks, especially at high altitude, but somehow Marty seemed ‘invincible’. Everybody he climbed with praised his decision making skills, his dedication to safety and his ability to enthuse and inspire those around him. Whenever Marty walked into the office here at Macpac, there was energy in the air. He loved talking gear and discussing potential improvements, and he couldn’t stop telling us how cool the kit was that we gave him. He loved sharing his past and upcoming adventures with us. And he sure loved playing a quick game of table tennis in the staff room with more energy you can wave a stick at. Energy…
I also remember sitting down with Marty to discuss some sponsorship details ages ago and he managed to down one and a half jug of coffee… all by himself. It didn’t seem to bother him one bit! More recently I questioned him why he didn’t want the coffee I offered him, and he simply replied that he had been climbing with a client who didn’t like coffee, which made him realise he didn’t need it either. So he just stopped drinking coffee. Willpower…
When Marty was asked to do a presentation on his incredible ascents of Makalu, G1 and G2 we spent several evenings together sifting through thousands of photos while yapping away about climbing, family, life… anything really. We stayed up very late and Marty just couldn’t stop telling me cool stories and I couldn’t stop listening. Inspirational…
I could go on and on, sharing random thoughts about a very dear friend of mine. A dear friend who I will miss very much (including the bear-hugs I got from him every time he returned from a trip).
Marty was incredibly proud to climb together with Denali and share his passion for the mountains with him – I was looking forward to meeting Denali one day here in New Zealand. Instead we have to come to grips with this enormous tragedy. I wish everybody who knew Marty and/or Denali strength to deal with this loss. There’s no doubt in my mind that they both want us to continue to enjoy the beautiful mountains and pursue great adventures. The next time I’m heading out there, I’ll be thinking of you guys.