Mountain rescuer, now waiting to be rescued
Someone who has spent a lifetime rescuing people is now in need of a rescue act.
Attempting to scale Mount Everest for the fourth time, Magan Bissa has paid dearly for his ambition. The mountaineer suffered an injury during the expedition to Everest in May this year and is now in a critical condition. With family resources drained by months of hospitalisation, Bissa needs financial support to survive.
The expedition, mounted by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, was attempting Everest from the south side. After establishing Camp III, members were hit by an avalanche while crossing the Khumbu icefall on the return to base camp.
“Though I did not feel anything at the time, most likely I was hit by a stone or piece of ice in the abdomen,” says the mountaineer from Rajasthan. Several hours later, Bissa woke up with acute abdominal pain. He was airlifted to Kathmandu, where doctors found blood clots due to hemorrhaging in the small intestine. Now in the ICU at the Institute of Liver and Binary Science, Bissa has already undergone two surgeries.
“In 1982, when we were climbing Gangotri I, there was a Pune team attempting Rudugaira peak. Five of them got frostbitten and Magan carried them by turns,” recalls mountaineer Sorab Gandhi.
Bissa was also a member of the 1984 expedition that saw Bachendri Pal conquer the Everest. After the famous avalanche, in which she was half-buried in Camp III, one of the sherpas, Chulden, had a broken leg and was rescued by being laid on a makeshift stretcher. When they were carrying him down the mountain, at one point there was a five-foot-wide crevasse and Bissa lay across it and bridged it with his body. “I used to rescue others,” says Bissa, “today I am battling for life.”
The Indian Mountaineering Foundation helped with the medical costs, but his family has appealed for further financial help.
Donations may be made into his account (SB 61001858883) in State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, Bikaner city branch (code 10164), IFSC No. SBBJ0010164.