Done it! Jamie’s Everest trek to thank surgeons

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Motorbike racer Jamie Cartwright - who broke seven vertebrae in a crash at the Isle of Man TT races - raised almost £2,000 for the hospital that “transformed” his life by trekking up Mount Everest.

The 25-year-old, who was treated at Leeds General Infirmary’s trauma ward after the smash in 2013, completed the 18-day trek last month.

Mr Cartwright, of Lisheen Avenue, Castleford, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. I can’t put it into words how good an experience it was.

“I didn’t even think I’d be able to get up out of the hospital bed let alone trek up Mount Everest.

“It was also a very strange experience. It was challenging but in ways I didn’t expect.

“The only was I can describe trekking at altitude is it’s like trying to drive a car with no fuel.”

Mr Cartwright, who is no longer racing, also broke his tibia and his wrist in the crash and had an operation to construct ligaments and tendons in his knee.

He was in surgery for 10-and-a-half hours while surgeons operated on his back.

He added: “The operation on my back was absolutely unbelievable.

“I had two choices: I had to either lay still for 12 weeks while wearing a brace, or have a spinal fusion where they put rods in my back with eight screws. I chose the second option.

“I was in surgery for 10-and-a-half hours and I came out and I could get up straight away.

“I had the operation on a Monday and was walking by the Wednesday.”

Mr Cartwright completed the trek with his uncle Aiden Cartwright. They trekked to Everest’s base camp Kalapathar and heights of around 5545m.

The duo returned home just three weeks before an earthquake in Nepal led to huge avalanches at Mount Everest.

He added: “The views when you’re at those kinds of heights are just unbelievable. There aren’t any pictures that do it justice.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me since the accident and who has donated money. Had it not been for the support I got I think I’d still be lied in the bed.

“The surgeons, doctors and nurses on that ward were unbelievable.

“I had never been to hospital or broke a bone in my body before the accident and you hear a lot of bad stories about the NHS but I couldn’t fault any of them - they transformed my life.

“Every member of staff I met was fantastic and given some of the stuff they have to do and put up with, they deserve an award.”

For more information on the trek or to sponsor Mr Cartwright visit www.justgiving.com/jamieseverestbctrek/ or email jamiecartwright@me.com