Associated Press newsflash headline for December 12, 2010 read, “Navratilova ‘Just Couldn’t Breathe’ on Kilimanjaro.” The short article went on to say that the 54-year-old tennis great had to be carried down from Africa’s highest mountain on a stretcher after her fluid-filled lungs forced her to abandon her attempt to climb 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. She was treated at a Nairobi hospital for high-altitude pulmonary edema, and was released after several days. The climb was to raise money and awareness for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
RailRiders asked long-time customer and outdoorsman Jonathon Schecter, a paramedic and naturalist living in Michigan and who had recently summitted Kilimanjaro, for his personal reaction to the Navratilova story. Schecter also writes a hiking column for The Oakland Press and outdoor safety and first-aid features for Woods N’ Water News. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Schecter emailed us the following:
Martina Navratilova followed the best possible course of action when she became symptomatic of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) near the 14,000-foot mark of 19,341 foot Mt Kilimanjaro, the tallest free standing volcano in the world. She followed the golden rule for treatment: IMMEDIATE DESCENT! Her emergency descent was facilitated by porters that carried her down on a stretcher with a big wheel, ending her attempt to reach the summit. Continue readingShare on Facebook