Comeback Story: Man Who Lost Legs Trying To Climb Mount Everest Just Reached The Top

Mike Brest | Reporter

A Chinese man whose legs were amputated after trying to climb Mount Everest in 1975 reached the summit Monday, Time reports.

Forty-three years ago, Xia was climbing with a group of people from China when a nasty storm hit when they were at 8,600 meters altitude. Xia reportedly gave his own sleeping bag to another climber who was sick, and contracted frostbite. He then lost both of his feet to amputations.

Then, 20 years later, he got diagnosed with lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, and his legs has to be amputated.

On his fifth attempt to climb Mount Everest, he finally reached the summit — altitude 8,848 meters — on Monday.

Xia almost didn’t have the chance to accomplish his lifelong mission. Back in December, the Nepal government banned double amputees and blind people from trying to climb Mt. Everest as a way to reduce the number of deaths and accidents. The ruling was overturned back in February.

According to the Washington Post, Xai, who is either 69 or 70 years old, became the first double amputee to conquer the Nepal side of the mountain.

The Kathmandu Post has reported that Mark Joseph Inglis of New Zealand was the first double leg amputee to reach the peak of Mt. Everest. He reached the top on May 15, 2006 (almost 12 years ago to the day), and it took him 40 days.

Mike Brest

Reporter

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