Lowcountry doctor among Mt. Everest avalanche survivors

Lowcountry doctor among Mt. Everest avalanche survivors

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Lowcountry doctor is among the survivors of the Mount Everest avalanche that followed the Nepal quake.

Dr. Dave Fitzpatrick was not in his tent when the deadly avalanche swept through base camp. Carl Weil  of Wilderness Medicine Outfitters in Colorado said Fitzpatrick's tent was crushed.

Weil said Fitzpatrick was able to make brief contact his wife to let her know he is alive. She told Weil  her husband is okay, and was able to help the injured in the aftermath of the avalanche.

Weil said he had helped Fitzpatrick connect with a New Zealand group making the climb. Fitzpatrick was to spend three months on that trek.

"It's not like going to XYZ hospital, you're not employed by a group with a hospital at base camp," Weil explained. "You're associated with a group sending people on the mountain."

Sadly, five members of the New Zealand group lost their lives in the base camp avalanche, according to Weil.

He says Fitzpatrick is a fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, one of only 300 in the world.

"He's a very competent outdoorsman and has become very knowledgeable over the years.  We've become friends, this was a neat thing for him to do," Weil said.

Weil said Fitzpatrick is active with the Boy Scouts in the Lowcountry and is a semi-retired physician.

It was Fitzpatrick's dream to be a physician at Everest base camp, according to Weil, who said Fitzpatrick had made the trek to base camp once before.

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