Arc­tic ex­plorer saved by phone

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Planning - By Kenmcer­lain

An Arc­tic ex­plorer’s life was saved af­ter he phoned Cam­bridgeshire med­i­cal char­ity Magpas for help when he fell ill in the frozen waste­land. Pro­fes­sional ex­plorer Justin Miles, from Sut­ton near Ram­sey, be­gan a three month ex­pe­di­tion to ex­plore a new route to the North Pole last month.

Justin and his co- ex­plorer Alex Hib­bert, pitched into the full force of an Arc­tic win­ter and faced tem­per­a­tures of mi­nus fifty or colder, as they hauled ev­ery­thing they needed across un­pre­dictable ice, ready to cover over 900 miles in com­plete dark­ness.

But Justin was taken ill two days from the near­est town in Green­land, when he sud­denly ex­pe­ri­enced an ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain in his ab­domen. The ex­plor­ers had no choice but to try their satel­lite phone and call the UK for help. Justin, who had sup­ported Magpas in the past, called A& E con­sul­tant Dr Rod Macken­zie who was on call that evening. When his mo­bile rang, DrMacken­zie was in his car. Af­ter an in­tense 20- minute con­ver­sa­tion, Dr Macken­zie told Justin he had a po­ten­tially fa­tal con­di­tion, if left un­treated.

Justin had a se­vere epi­gas­tric her­nia, had he not ended his ex­pe­di­tion there and then, there was a strong like­li­hood his blood­stream would have been poi­soned.

Justin is now back in the UK where he is a wait­ing surgery. He and Alex plan to recom­mence their arc­tic mis­sion later this year.

DrMacken­zie said: “I was a lit­tle sur­prised when I re­ceived the call. I ob­vi­ously knew that we were go­ing to sup­port Justin and Alex, but I wasn’t ex­pect­ing the phone to ring so early on in the ex­pe­di­tion. I just did my job, which is to sort out se­ri­ous prob­lems.”

Justin said:“I can’t tell you how lucky we were to have Magpas on board. Dr Macken­zie,, was su­perb. I was in a tremen­dous amount of pain at that point, but the bloody- minded as­pect of me wasn’t really pre­pared to stop. It was only when Rod spelled out the po­ten­tial con­se­quences that Alex and I re­alised turn­ing back was the safest op­tion”.

Rod Macken­zie.

Justin Miles.

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