A "determined" Huntingdon man takes on Everest after a double lung transplant

Ex-Royal Marine Paul Hunt during his trek to Everest Base Camp.

Ex-Royal Marine Paul Hunt during his trek to Everest Base Camp. - Credit: Paul Hunt

Huntingdon-born Paul Hunt has embarked on the challenge of a lifetime to climb up to Everest Base Camp despite having a double lung transplant only 18 months ago.

Paul, who now resides in Alconbury, was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, a rare condition that attacks the lungs, leaving him in need of a double transplant.

With care from the Royal Papworth Hospital, Paul successfully undertook the transplant on New Years Eve 2020 and has now set his sights on Everest.

For his ascent, Paul is also raising money for The Fostering Network charity, which helps give support and guidance to foster families and improve opportunities for fostered children.

On his fundraising page, Paul said: "Following my double lung transplant last year, I want to keep my word and prove that I can get to Base Camp Everest, and so I am going.

"I want to do this for charity, and I am going to do this for children that need the opportunity to change their lives and be looked after by Professional carers in Fostering.

"This is so that they can have a new perspective on life and have the opportunity of having people's support."

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Most people following a double lung transplant wouldn't think to take on this challenge, but, as an ex-Royal Marine, Paul was determined to do so.

Paul served during the Falklands War when he was 18 years old before going into business, and his brother Ray Hunt said: "he is taking it all in his stride."

Ray added: "He’s always been the kind of guy that you can’t say, 'you can’t do' that because he'll do it.

"He’s done no training, no prep, and he’s absolutely knackered! But he’s very, very determined and confident that he can do it."

Ray said the hospital gave Paul the all-clear to take on the ascent, which he began seven days ago in Nepal.

The distance to Everest Base Camp is a 5,364 m trek, and Paul is being helped along the way by a Sherpa and a tour guide.

Paul hopes to reach base camp over the next seven days, allowing his body and lungs to acclimatise to the increasingly thin air and raise as much money as possible.

If you wish to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Paul-Hunt74.