First Paraplegic to reach Everest base camp in wheelchair
Australian Scott Doolan has become the first paraplegic to reach Everest base camp in a wheelchair. He has become the first paraplegic to reach the world's highest peak. Doolan reached the feet of world's highest peak on Tuesday after an unimaginable 10-day journey. Everest base camp 5,364 m above sea level is only accessible on foot or by helicopter. Scott Doolan, 28, set out on Friday for Everest base camp & proved it that Everest base camp is also accessible to wheelchair users. Before setting out to Everest base camp, Doolan spent his last eight months training for the trek, doing daily cardiovascular & strength training. He also spent time in Australia’s Blue Mountains to get some experience on trails, wearing a mask that limits oxygen flow in a bid to replicate the high altitude conditions that await him in the Himalayas. "I was struggling to breathe (when I reached base camp) because I was walking on my hands but I just remember looking up and seeing a crowd of about 20 people, Once I actually got there. they all start cheering and that was pretty damn humbling," he told AFP. AFP reported that on the day seven of the trek, one of Doolan's wheelchair wheel snapped off. "I was pretty devastated. I was just sitting by myself on a rock, thinking how am I going to do this now," he said. But later, his team found a way to fix the broken wheel & continued the journey. Doolan has been confined to a wheelchair since he was 17 after he got in a motorcycle accident & broke his spine. For his journey to Everest base camp, he used custom-made wheelchair "human wheelbarrow" technique - crawling his way up much of the mountain. Doolan & his team decided to go through this challenge to inspire & motivate others who have gone through the similar experience as him & raise awareness for mental health. Before his climb, Doolan said, "My first thought was no way, impossible, I can't do that. However, after thinking about it and talking it through with the team, I thought why not, what better way to challenge myself and influence others to rise above doubt than to climb the biggest mountain in the world." Doolan was airlifted from base camp on Sunday & taken to hospital in Kathmandu. It has been revealed that he had a stress fracture in his tailbone but is expected to make a full recovery.