“No roads lead to Everest. It is one long weary foot march across the Himalayan foothills to the base of the great mountain,” reads a 1963 Life Magazine article about the first U.S. team to conquer Everest (cover pictured above).
Members of the team recently gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ascent and with them was team member and former ReSurge chief medical officer Dr. David Dingman.
“It was great to get together with my Everest buddies. Unfortunately there are only four of us out of 19 who were well enough to travel and celebrate. We were a close-knit team and we looked out for each other. We are still very close after all these years,” shared Dingman after the celebration.
Dr. Dingman has led a most impressive life, with achievements in and beyond the medical field. As ReSurge’s first chief medical officer, he paved the way for the establishment of ReSurge’s first surgical outreach program in Nepal. As a climber, he sacrificed his own chances to conquer Everest in order to help six fellow climbers back to base camp after they had gotten stuck and needed immediate medical attention and evacuation.
Everest, he now recalls, was his first taste at providing medical care in a developing country: “On the mountain I was fortunate to be in the right place to save a few lives. But, on the month-long approach march I really had the opportunity to treat the local community. We would set up a clinic at the end of every day and treat hundreds of sick locals.”
Dr. Dingman's care on Everest foreshadowed a long, successful partnership between ReSurge and Nepal. For more than 14 years, ReSurge has been active in Nepal empowering local doctors like its surgical outreach director, Dr. Shankar Man Rai, to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery.
“Dr. Dingman is a real visionary. He not only understood our needs, he knew how to meet them. Going the extra mile to help us was his norm,” said Rai.
Dr. David Dingman has been changing lives for decades. Today, ReSurge heartily congratulates him on the 50th anniversary of his Everest ascent!