Vancouver anesthesiologist dies during Mount Everest expedition
A Vancouver anesthesiologist has died in the pursuit of a lifelong dream to climb Mount Everest.
Pieter Swart died Thursday while descending below camp IV, the highest camp below the summit, due to an “undefined, at this point, respiratory event,” said a statement by the University of British Columbia’s anesthesiology department, where Swart worked as an associate professor.
“Pieter was lost to us while bravely pursuing his dream of being on top of the world, since he was nine. As many of you know Pieter had an insatiable wanderlust,” said colleague Dr. Hamed Umedaly in a letter to colleagues on Friday.
Nepalese tourism department official Khim Lal Gautam confirmed Swart’s death, identifying him as a Canadian national who fell sick in the “death zone,” typically identified as 8,000 metres above sea level where oxygen levels are not high enough to sustain human life for an extended period and where supplemental oxygen is typically used.
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