Climbing Mt. Everest and reaching the summit is a task that only a select few can say they have accomplished. A miniscule amount of climbers can even make the journey to the base camp, and even the ones fortunate enough to get the opportunity don’t always make it to the top. It is a dangerous mission that is only meant for those who are both mentally and physically strong.
Tom Whittaker is one of those people.
Tom Whittaker lost his right foot after a car accident in 1979. He had already been physically active (he was a rock climber, rugby player, and had already summited Mount McKinley) before the wreck and decided to keep this mentality after. Along with regular workouts, he found which muscles to train that would offset the loss of his right leg and began to acquire a new form of balance. Training to hike any mountain is never easy, but climbing Mt. Everest with a prosthesis had literally never been done before. It would take new levels of determination and strength to reach the top.
Tom had two trips that were cut short before his historical ascent to glory in 1998. The first was in 1989 when he had almost reached 25,000 feet. A storm arrived and killed a total of six people. He would not get another attempt at the summit until 1995, when he almost reached the top. With only 1,500 feet remaining, Tom felt that he was moving too slowly on the rocks to make it to camp by nightfall and had to turn away from his decades-long goal. A friend and member of his crew brought him back a rock from the summit during that trip and told Whittaker to return it to the top for him.
Tom finally reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 27th, 1998, and carved his name in history in that moment. His wife, Cindy, was there every step of the way, leading the crew into the Everest base camp and managing the monumental Everest Challenge ‘98. Tom Whittaker is not only a pioneer in prosthetic achievements, he should be an example of the truth that anything can be done, no matter what those around you say. It will not always be easy; in fact it will usually be difficult, but whatever challenge we are facing with a prosthesis or otherwise, we know we will be able to move past it.
BioTech Is Here to Help
We exist not only to provide you with the prosthesis and other equipment needed to feel comfortable daily, but to excel at whatever it is you want to accomplish. Our team has years of experience and enjoys seeing the people we work with continue to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you move your mountain.