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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 09:08 GMT
Doctors save Briton in Nepal
Nepal
Dr Nath was trekking with his son in the Himalayas
A doctor father and son delayed an appointment with the king of Nepal to save man's life.

Neurosurgeon Fred Nath, from Middlesbrough, was due to be honoured by the king when he and his son found a British man suffering from severe altitude sickness.

Mr Nath, and Alex, 25, a doctor at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital administered drugs and organised Sherpas to escort the ill man to a nearby village for treatment.

Mr Nath was trekking through the Himalayas on his way to be decorated for his work with Nepalese medics.

While Alex stayed with the sick climber, his father went for life-saving drugs, directing Sherpas to organise a stretcher and carry the patient to the nearest village.

Their route lay down a mountain path above a steep precipice.

When the sick man had recovered enough to sit on horseback, the father and son and their guides set out on a three-hour journey to another village.

Mr Nath followed behind while Alex led the horse in the dark.

Mr Nath said: "We were delayed on our way to our royal appointment and decided to do some trekking of our own.

Fend off yaks

"We came across the man who was very ill and near death with altitude sickness, which claims a lot of lives every year.

"We got our Sherpas to help and get the man to a nearby village.

"We had to use stick to keep the yaks away from us as we watched him.

'Right place'

"We eventually managed to organise transportation so he could be flown to safety in Kathmandu.

"I was very impressed with Alex. He stayed calm and dealt with the situation extremely well."

Alex, a senior houseman, said: "We were amazed to find this guy on his own.

"It just shows the importance of staying in a group when you're trekking. Anything can happen.

Birthday honours

"I'm just glad we were in the right place at the right time for this guy and everything worked out well."

The Teesside consultant is only the second doctor from outside Nepal to be honoured by the king in his birthday honours list.

Mr Nath has forged links with Nepal and sent medical equipment to the country.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Neurosurgeon Fred Nath
"It was all rather frightening"

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See also:

10 Nov 02 | Wales
07 Nov 02 | England
08 Sep 02 | Scotland
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