GP is resident of the month

Michael Cottingham presents Dr Alan Pearce with his certificate
Michael Cottingham presents Dr Alan Pearce with his certificate

A local GP has been named July’s Resident of the Month after putting his physical fitness to the test on the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.

Dr Alan Pearce, from Hailsham Medical Centre, took on the challenge as part of the Xtreme Everest expedition. The challenge was organised by the University College London to study how the body reacts to low levels of oxygen.

The findings from the trip to Everest Base Camp will help to find ways of better treating people in intensive care.

Everest Base Camp is 5,300 metres above sea level and apart from the low levels of oxygen, Dr Pearce and the researchers had to contend with temperatures plummeting to -15 C at night.

Dr Pearce said, “Our bodies need oxygen to function properly and when it is in short supply, we struggle to perform and often feel unwell.

“Some people manage better with low oxygen levels than others but we don’t know why.

“If we can find out what it is about our genetic make-up that determines our response to low oxygen levels then we will be able to help patients that struggle with oxygen absorption.”

As well as being a GP, Dr Pearce is a pre-hospital emergency care doctor and is often first on the scene at medical emergencies, such as road traffic accidents and cardiac arrests.

Advanta Chartered Accountants and the Eastbourne Herald jointly sponsor the Resident of the Month Award, which recognises unsung heroes in the local community.

Michael Cottingham, a director at Advanta, visited Dr Pearce at Hailsham Medical Centre to present him with his certificate.

Michael said, “Alan has pushed himself both physically and mentally to help improve the care critically ill people receive.

“He is clearly dedicated to his work and is passionate about helping others and saving lives.

“I was delighted to hear all about Alan’s work and was pleased to present him with the Resident of the Month Award.”