Aussie climber who twice had to learn to walk again dies on Mt Everest

An Australian man has died while descending Mt Everest during an expedition to raise funds for spinal injuries.

May 22, 2023, updated May 22, 2023
Jason Kennison, 40, died on Friday. (Image:

Jason Kennison, 40, died on Friday. (Image:

Jason Kennison, 40, died on Friday, his family said in a statement.

“He achieved his goal of reaching the peak … he stood on top of this world but sadly didn’t come home,” they said on social media.

“He was the most courageous, adventurous human we knew and he will be forever missed.”

Kennison, an engineer from South Australia who had been living in Perth, faced years of rehabilitation after being seriously injured in a 2006 car crash.

A routine spinal procedure three years ago resulted in complications including spinal nerve damage which forced him to learn how to walk again for a second time.

“After all the setbacks and injuries I have had, it was a spinal cord injury that changed my life and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone,” he wrote on a fundraising page for the expedition.

“Although I feel grateful with the extent of what I suffered in comparison to my other injuries … it is traumatic, difficult and requires incredible resilience to get through.

“However, I am going to make the most of my life and part of that involves helping other people who have had their life changed in an instant through spinal cord injury.

“They shouldn’t be forgotten; they should be helped.”

Kennison had been raising money for support organisation Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, which confirmed it was aware of his death.

An expedition organiser told the Himalayan Times Kennison had been assisted from the summit after becoming unwell before collapsing on a platform below.

Poor weather conditions had prevented rescuers from reaching him.

Kennison’s death is reported to be the 10th fatality on Mt Everest during the prime spring climbing season.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian who had died in Nepal.

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