Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pinoy Everest Doctor Ted Esguerra

Philippine Coast Guard Doctor Ted Esguerra on the summit of Gokyo Ri.

Received this text at 11:50 a.m. Manila time from Dr. Ted Esguerra, the physician accompanying the Philippine All Women Everest Team.

"Sir, we are midway to Tingri (in the Tibetan region of China). We stayed for a while at 16,000 feet and the team is fine. Rescued a French national in Namche a week ago and now just treated a Thailander who got AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) on the way to Lhasa. I have been conducting lectures for International climbers regarding high-altitude medicine. Regards."

From the town of Tingri, it will be just a one day trek to the Tibetan Everest Base Camp. A report on says the main Base Camp has been reserved exclusively for Chinese climbers practicing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A team of climbers will bring up the Olympic Torch to the summit of Mt. Everest next year during the Olympic Torch Relay. Other Everest climbers have reportedly set up a new Base Camp 3 kilometers away from the original site.

Wherever the Philippine Team sets up camp, it will surely be one of the most visited in Base Camp. During last year's Philippine Everest Expedition, Dr. Ted treated an estimated 80 patients, composed of International climbers and local Sherpas. Among Dr. Ted's patients were Singaporean Grand Slam Adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow and Malaysian Vincent Loh, Spaniard Jesus Calleja who summitted Lhotse last year, and members of the Mallorcan Everest Team.

But it wasn't just the climbers who benefitted from the Doctor's care. Surprisingly, a number of porters and even a Nepali Base Camp Officer suffered from AMS. Some of the porters had to rush up and down the mountain with heavy loads, and the fatigue may have made them succeptible to the effects of altitude. One Base Camp Officer, who was on his first tour-of-duty in the Everest Area, had to be placed inside a Gamow Bag to try and reverse the effects of his altitude sickness. His symptoms were already near heart-attack levels, but a few hours inside the bag was able to revive him -- though he still had to be carried down the mountain by porters.

The other patients the Doctor treated were suffering from the usual Khumbu cough, diarrhea, blistered feet and sun and wind burns. Dr. Ted would even give the patients medicine without asking for payment. We joked that he could at least ask for a can of spam, a dozen eggs, or even a pot of dudh chia! But the good Doctor would only say, "no, this is my profession and a service I want to do as a Filipino Doctor. What is important is that they remember that a Filipino Doctor treated them, and treated them well.. and the next time a Filipino passes through this area, I hope the locals will remember me and treat that Filipino well too."

Mabuhay ka Dr. Ted! With you around, we are certain the Philippine Everest Team is in excellent hands.

Dr. Ted and the girls with Ama Dablam in the background.


rdeza said...

Kudos, Dr Ted! We are proud of you! We feel that the ladies & team are in good hands. With all the good samaritan actions you have done up there, you could very well be the right-hand man of Miyolangsangma.

Anonymous said...

ei bro.. astig ka talaga.. what more can i say.. ur doing a great job up there..just go on and make our country proud! btw, photogenic ka ata ngayon ah.. hehe!

Ian Mendoza said...

i wish our women ambassadors of the call to save the mountains of the world success and a triumphant safe return..

human development international
[ please visit ]

Anonymous said...

Brod Ted,

Tol Keep up the good works.


Anonymous said...

Hey! Sadik.. you're still doin' great. Proud to be one of your friend. Dr. Lito Abrera wants to say "Hello".

Ranee/Los Angeles ,California