A YOUNG Eastbourne traveller died suddenly from altitude sickness in Peru while enjoying the trip of a lifetime.
Adam Savory, 25, from Derwent Road, was six weeks into a journey around North and South America when tragedy struck.
The former Ratton and Park College Student began the his trip in August 2012 with his close friend Bryn Harborne. The pair had visited a number of places including Vancouver, San Francisco and Mexico, before flying to Lima in Peru.
Today (January 24) an inquest at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court heard how the two friends, who had known each other for 15 years, then travelled to Ica in Peru before taking a 15-hour bus journey to Cusco in the south east of the country near the Andes mountain range – a city more than 3,000 metres above sea level.
The inquest was told how Adam complained of feeling tired and unwell and said he was “feeling the altitude” but did not think it was anything serious. But within two days his condition has drastically worsened.
A doctor was called and he was rushed to a nearby clinic after an initial diagnosis of water on his lungs. After treatment his condition seemed to improve before deteriorating again.
Bryn, who lives in Eastbourne and who was a pupil at Ratton School, called Adam’s parents and told them their son was in a very serious condition. His mother and father Jeannet and Chris, along with sister Emma, told him they loved him very much and although he was struggling to talk Adam said, “Yes”.
Doctors tried to arrange a flight to Lima in order to get him to a hospital below sea level but this couldn’t be arranged until the next day.
County coroner Alan Craze said, “It seems as if Adam and Bryn must have come from somewhere near to sea level and didn’t have the chance to acclimatise.
“It seems as if having arrived in Cusco he displayed the symptoms of altitude sickness without realising that was what he had.
“Altitude sickness is progressive and the longer you have it the worse it gets.”
While Adam was being treated, Bryn returned to the hostel to collect their belongings and when he came back to the clinic he was told his friend had died.
Using the medical evidence from Peru, a subsequent post-mortem at the DGH and interviews with Adam’s family, the coroner said he had died from altitude sickness and recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.
Following the inquest Adam’s dad told the Herald the family is setting up a charity to draw attention to the dangers of altitude sickness.
Chris said, “We have called the charity Para-monte which means beyond the mountains to raise further awareness of altitude sickness and this is the way we can best preserve Adam’s memory.”