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Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Doctors in life-saving expedition win award

Roger honoured by Queen's

Roger at the top of Everest with a Friends School flag

Roger at the top of Everest with a Friends School flag

A LISBURN medical graduate who recently scaled Everest as part of a research expedition and saved a young Nepalese woman's life en route was honoured by Queen's University this week. -

Dr Roger McMorrow and colleague Dr Nigel Hart are this

year's joint winners of the University's Graduate of the Year Award.

While in Nepal in May as part of a medical research team they saved the life of 22-year-old Nepalese climber Usha Bista.

Nigel, a past pupil of Friends School, and Roger were taking part in an expedition to research the effects of low oxygen in the blood and helped set up the world's highest medical laboratory.

They took the first ever measurements of oxygen in human blood at severe altitude.

This experiment will enable researchers to more fully understand hypoxia - lack of oxygen on the blood - a plight faced by many patients in intensive care hospital wards around the world.

Delivering the citation, President of Queen's Graduates Association Bernard Fitzpatrick said: "It was on their way to the summit that the drama unfolded. Usha Bista was found almost unconscious and suffering from cerebral oedema, or swelling of the brain, which can be fatal if left untreated at high altitude. Nigel was part of the group at Camp 4 that first treated Usha before she was taken to Camp 3 where Roger became involved with her care. From there she was moved to base camp before a helicopter delivered her to a hospital in Katmandu.

"Without the intervention of Nigel, Roger and others, Usha would undoubtedly have died. Thankfully, apart from frostbite, Usha suffered no other injuries or permanent damage. In an interview with Associated Press in Katmandu, she praised her rescuers saying she was 'indebted to them for life'."

He added: "For their courageous achievement in conquering Everest, for their role in the ground-breaking scientific experiments undertaken in the process but more notably for their heroic contribution to the rescue and treatment of Usha Bista, Dr Nigel Hart and Dr Roger McMorrow are very worthy recipients of this honour."

Ulster Star