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Singapore-based Malaysian doctor in critical condition after 'miracle' rescue from Nepal mountain

Singapore-based Malaysian doctor in critical condition after 'miracle' rescue from Nepal mountain

Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin being transferred from a helicopter to a Kathmandu hospital for treatment on Apr 26, 2019, after being rescued form Mount Annapurna in Nepal. (Photo: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

KATHMANDU: The Singapore-based Malaysian doctor who was rescued after two nights in the open on Nepal's Mount Annapurna is in critical condition, his doctor said.

Dr Chin Wui Kin, 48, was airlifted to a hospital in the capital Kathmandu on Friday (Apr 26) morning, where he was joined by his wife.

"His heart rate and temperature were both very low when we received him. He is suffering from severe hypothermia and has frostbite on his hands and feet," Sanij Singh, emergency physician at Mediciti Hospital, told AFP.

"His condition is critical ... We are doing what we can."

READ: Singapore-based Malaysian doctor safely rescued after going missing on Nepal mountain 

Dr Chin reached the top of the 8,100m Himalayan mountain on Tuesday with about 30 other trekkers, but failed to return to the nearest camp, 1km below the peak.

Frantic efforts began to find him after his guide stumbled to the camp and raised the alert.

Early Thursday, a rescue helicopter spotted him waving from an altitude of about 7,500m, said his expedition organiser Seven Summits Treks.

Four experienced Sherpas were then dropped at another camp at 6,500m and after four hours of searching and climbing found Dr Chin in a semi-conscious state.

"It is amazing. We were very happy to find him alive ... It was a tough and risky operation," said rescuer Nirmal Purja.

Mr Purja said that the only words Dr Chin spoke were "Can I have hot water?"

Rescuers said the delay was hampered by bad weather as well as clearance from an insurance company.

It took four attempts for the helicopter to reach the camp to evacuate Dr Chin and the sherpas.

According to the Himalayan Times, Dr Chin was deprived of supplemental oxygen, food and water for more than 43 hours.

The report said he is an experienced climber, having successfully climbed Mount Everest last year.

Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summits Treks said on Thursday that it was "a miracle" that Dr Chin was found alive.

"Not everyone can survive at that altitude for that long. This is rare," he had said.

Dr Chin Wui Kin summited Mount Everest in 2018, but returned to Nepal in 2019 to climb Mount Annapurna. (Photos: Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Seven Summit Treks)

A visiting senior anaesthesiology consultant at Singapore's Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Dr Chin's medical knowledge and familiarity with mountains may have helped keep him alive, said a sherpa. 

According to hiking officials, fickle weather and frequent avalanches make Mount Annapurna a dangerous and more difficult to climb mountain than Mount Everest. Dozens of climbers have died on the mountain since it was first summited in 1950.

Hundreds of foreign climbers are on different Himalayan peaks in Nepal during the current climbing season, which ends in May.

Source: CNA/agencies/gs

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