NEW YORK, NY – One man forgot his age and situation and accomplished an incredible feat!
At first glance, Don Healy doesn’t come across as a daredevil and a mountain climber. The 65-year-old entrepreneur could be taking it easy and enjoying retirement. Healy, however, has dreams and one of those was to climb Mount everest, the world’s highest mountain. He can finally cross the incredible feat off his bucket list.
Healy became one of the oldest Americans to scale the mountain last month and is believed to be the first to do so after a hip replacement. To make his accomplishment even more significant, Healy is giving $29,035 (one dollar for every foot he climbed) with the help of friends and family to the American Himalayan Foundation, an organization that provides education, health care and preservation services in the Himalayan region. That seems like pocket change compared to the roughly $65,000 he spent to cover the costs of the trip.
“In this region of the world, if people aren’t productive or can’t farm, they are treated as outcasts. Without treatment, many of these children would be lost altogether,” Healy said.
His donation will help support the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children in Kathmandu, Nepal, which specializes in orthopedic surgery for children in rural areas. Before his climb, Healy and his wife spent a few days at the center speaking with doctors and children.
“It put things in perspective. If my hip surgery in New York was $50,000, the average surgery at the center is $150. A little goes a long way in Nepal,” Healy said.
Dreaming of climbing Mount Everest since he was a child, Healy might have his broken hip to thank for accomplishing the feat. Healy broke his hip in a bike accident in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
“My broken hip made me more determined than ever,” he said. “I wanted to demonstrate that neither age nor physical setbacks need limit ones goals.”