A CLIMBER who came within hours of death on the world’s highest mountain has told how he has battled back from the nightmare to face another peak.
Peter Swain, 40, of Hall Farm, Sunderland, suffered from four different types of severe altitude sickness when he climbed Mount Everest to raise money for Help the Heroes. It caused his brain to swell and left him semi-blind in one eye.
The Echo told how he was within three to six hours of coma and 24 hours of death.
Peter feared he may have been left disabled for life, but now, a year on, he has started climbing again.
He said: “I climbed Scafell Pike, but when I got near to the top I started having flashbacks. It was the first time I had climbed since doing Everest.”
This is not the first time he has had flashbacks, as Peter says he suffers with them in his sleep and now it has affected his ability to work.
Peter worked for Nala, in Houghton, as an engineer and after the incident last year, his driving licence was taken from him for nine months until it was felt he was fit enough to drive again.
He said: “I returned back to work in April this year, but while I was working away in London I had a flashback while in my sleep and tore a muscle in my shoulder. I had to drive back to Sunderland the next day and I think the drive made it worse.
“Now I am on all sorts of different medication to try to ease the pain.
“I’ve missed out on climbing Mont Blanc with my friends. They phoned me this week to tell me they had just finished it.”
Even though Peter is still on the road to recovery, he says he is determined to raise money for the charity again.
“I would definitely do it all again. I would do it 10 times over.”
Peter hopes to return to work. He is living with his mother because he feels he still needs assistance.