Photo editor Sadie Quarrier arrived in Base Camp today—and then left within hours. She decided to accompany photographer (and friend) Cory Richards, who was being evacuated off Everest by helicopter after showing signs of severe altitude sickness.
I’m borrowing the doctor’s laptop in Lukla. I jumped on the chopper at the last second. My cell phone died, but I will be borrowing charger later tonight. Famous Base Camp Dr. Luanne Freer (who Cory has known for some years) is here in Lukla by great coincidence. She was on her way back to Kathmandu. She’s working with the doctor here. Luanne and I will watch over Cory tonight in shifts (staff is too tight here) and will go down to Kathmandu with him tomorrow for better assessment. He’s been given blood thinners and tomorrow they’ll check on lungs. If all is OK he wants to head back up (of course), but we’re telling him one hour at a time and not to stress. He’s had soup and doing well.
I hope it’s OK I left Base Camp. I just went with my gut and thought someone he knows should be with him. I would have wanted the same. I hope we’ll both be getting back to Base Camp before too long. Day by day.
Update 4/29/12, 12:05 AM: Cory's affliction was not related to altitude, but was a possible pulmonary embolism. Cory is now in Kathmandu, where he is resting and awaiting a diagnosis.
For more on this story visit NG News: Everest Helicopter Rescue Saves National Geographic Photographer.