Nhs_choices Bthft Bradford Teaching HospitalsNHS Foundation Trust NHS Choices
  • Text Size

  • Language

    loading

A Bradford hospital worker is trekking along the roof of the world to Everest Base Camp for poorly children.

Shaun Phelan is currently in Nepal, where he’s embarked on a 40-mile trek to Everest base camp at altitudes over five times higher than Mount Snowdon (up to 5,545 metres).

Occupational Therapist Shaun, 52, is risking acute mountain sickness to raise funds for our children’s charity. He’s walking for 12 days, for up to 12 hours a day to buy equipment and little extras for young patients and their families on our new children’s unit.

Shaun said: “It’s quite a high-risk thing. On each trek there’s an average of about three people who succumb to altitude sickness. You have to take out special insurance in case you need to be airlifted out by helicopter.

“And there’s no doubt the walk will be a challenge because the air is very thin which will make the trek particularly tiring. It will be about learning to slow down and walk at my own pace with less oxygen.

“I’ve spoken to a chap who has actually climbed Everest, and his advice was to take an Aspirin every day!

I draw motivation from the children

“But I will also draw motivation from the children who will be using the new children’s unit. It has very recently opened and it’s great to be able to contribute towards it further.”

Shaun, who’s based at St Luke’s, has already raised substantial amounts for the new unit after taking part in last year’s Bradford Dragon Boat Festival and recently completing the Three Peaks Challenge.

But just getting to the start line in Nepal for this year’s trek has been no easy task. After taking a plane from Manchester airport to Heathrow, Shaun flew on to Delhi where he boarded a transfer to Kathmandu, before finally travelling on a 20-seater bone-shaker to Lukla in eastern Nepal.

He added that landing at Lukla’s airport before the trek begun was a little risky too, as it’s short, stops at the edge of a precipice and is surrounded by vertiginous Himalayan peaks.

Shaun’s adventure will see him trek through Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche, and the Imja Valley to Dingboche - all while sleeping in traditional teahouses (mountain lodges) along the way.

Special mission

And when he finally reaches Everest base camp, he has a special mission planned.

“I’m taking along a banner with the charity logo and my plan is to display it there!” he said.

“We will also get to meet some of the teams who are preparing for their ascent of Everest and, weather permitting, will be able to see them climbing the mountain.”

Many people have sponsored Shaun already, but he’s keen to reap even greater rewards.

“We’ve had great support but it would be great to get some corporate backing behind us too.”

To sponsor Shaun and support the children of Bradford, visit his JustGiving page or contact Bradford Hospitals’ Charity Fundraiser Hayley Collis at: hayley.collis@bthft.nhs.uk