Global Rescue performs field rescue for climber on Kilimanjaro

Member Services

August 25, 2011

Categories: Member Testimonials,

Global Rescue has performed a field rescue for a physician experiencing severe shortness of breath, chest pains and other signs of life-threatening illness as she was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

About two-thirds of the way up Africa’s tallest mountain, Michele Donsky complained of tightness in her chest and extreme difficulty breathing. The 55-year-old marathon runner could only speak one or two words at a time before she began wheezing. Her climbing guide, Eddie Frank, owner of Tusker Trail, after establishing that she was a Global Rescue member, called Global Rescue and requested a medical evacuation.  Tusker, which employs wilderness medicine trained staff and maintains a high guide-to-client ratio, is arguably the best prepared outfitter on Kilimanjaro when it comes to client safety.

Fortunately, the group was close to one of the few areas on the mountain where a rotary-wing aircraft is able to land – in many cases, injured climbers are required to descend with the aid of a mountain gurney and porters – and so Global Rescue was able to deploy a helicopter to evacuate her from about 13,000 feet.

She was transported to a nearby hospital, and almost immediately her condition improved at the lower altitude. The member was evaluated by local doctors and in regular communication with Global Rescue medical staff.

“It was very reassuring to be able to hear the Global Rescue doctor’s voice on the sat phone and to know that he was making sound decisions for me,” Dr. Donsky wrote in a letter to Global Rescue. “I had the utmost trust and confidence in him and his team. I would never want to be without this kind of help in this situation, and it would not have been possible had I not signed up with Global Rescue.

“I cannot praise you enough,” she concluded. “I would be dead if you had not come to rescue me.”

Eddie Frank, who founded Tusker Trail  and has recommended Global Rescue memberships to his clients for years, added “Global Rescue showed their true colors, and came through as promised – professional, expert, and true to their word; key elements of a top-notch outfit.  I will continue to recommend Global Rescue’s services to Tusker Trail’s clients. The company is gold.”


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