Bi­ol­ogy study on slopes of Ever­est

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Kirsty Parkin

Ash­ford girl goes to Nepal to carry out life-sav­ing re­search.

A FOR­MER Miss Ash­ford turned sci­en­tist will be part of a pi­o­neer­ing med­i­cal re­search trip to Mount Ever­est.

He­len Luery, 26, whose fam­ily still live on Wash­ford Farm, is an ex­er­cise sci­en­tist based at the Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don and has been work­ing on Caud­well Xtreme Ever­est Project for five years.

The aim of the re­search is to en­hance the un­der­stand­ing of crit­i­cally ill pa­tients with low oxy­gen lev­els by mak­ing the first ever mea­sure­ment of the level of oxy­gen in hu­man blood at such al­ti­tude.

Next week, the for­mer High­worth pupil will be among the team of 60 doc­tors and sci­en­tists go­ing to Nepal to per­form what will be the largest hu­man bi­ol­ogy study ever to take place at high al­ti­tude.

He­len and the team will live there for al­most four months and their trip will be filmed for a BBC doc­u­men­tary.

“It is a com­pletely new con­cept of us­ing an ex­treme en­vi­ron­ment to model what is hap-

I feel very for­tu­nate to work with such an amaz­ing group of sci­en­tists and doc­tors

pen­ing to a pa­tient,” said He­len, who was Miss Ash­ford in 1998 and be­longed to Ash­ford Swim­ming club and Ash­ford Ath­let­ics Club.

“I have al­ways been a girly girl so go­ing climb­ing and be­ing in such a harsh en­vi­ron­ment with­out lux­u­ries is cer­tainly go­ing to be a per­sonal chal­lenge.

“It is in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing and I feel very for­tu­nate to work with such an amaz­ing group of sci­en­tists and doc­tors.”

The project is run by the UCL’s Cen­tre for Al­ti­tude, Space and Ex­treme En­vi­ron­ment Medicine.

The team will study more than 200 healthy vol­un­teers as they climb higher and will look at how oxy­gen is de­liv­ered, blood flow to the brain and test a new por­ta­ble breath­ing sys­tem de­signed for climbers.

When she re­turns, He­len plans to move back to Ash­ford.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.xtreme-ever­

Pic­ture: Dave Downey pd 1166055

For­mer Miss Ash­ford He­len Luery is to travel to Nepal

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