Dr Sean Egan
Update: Friday 6th May,
11.55pm. Kathmandu. (EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal) By Harold Mah
Hello everyone, once again,
thank you for the e-mails you have been sending us written by the feelings in
With the blessing of Anne and
Seamas I have put together this Update.
Anna Banana and Seamas the
Famous (nicknames given to them by Sean) arrived here in Kathmandu on
Wednesday May 4, 2005. I was late meeting them because my flight from Lukla
was delayed by 4 hours due to cloud cover. My flight was the only flight in
the past 3 days to leave Lukla. The Katmandu and Everest areas have had
significant rain and snow leading to power outages in Katmandu and an
avalanche at Everest which destroyed 90% of camp 1 and injured 7 people. I
feel fortunate to be off the mountain. There is talk among the climbers this
could be a no summit year because of the weather, accidents and two deaths.
Our first meeting was
That afternoon we and others
from Nepal that Sean impacted in his magical way went to see him at the
hospital. It was a very odd but Sean Egan type of meeting. We arrived at the
hospital in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. Upon entering the hospital the
glass roof was leaking and just before we went to see him the power went off.
This made Seanís children laugh and they said it was their father to pass away
in a third world country, in the middle of the thunderstorm with the lights
out. This really helped to break the stress everyone was feeling.
We all went to see Sean and
he looked great. We cried with sadness but also with joy because we knew this
was the way he would have chosen to move forward in his life. Anna and Seamas
hugged their father for the last time and were remarkably strong while at the
The rest of the day I spent
with the children talking about the fun things myself, Sean and the rest of
the Trekking crew did while in Kathmandu. The places we ate, shopped and the
first set of prayer wheels we touched.
The following day jet lag
kicked in for the kids. Overwhelmed by a lack of sleep and the City of
Kathmandu they slept in and later in the day we took in the shops of the area
we stayed in (Thamel). The stores and bargains fascinated them. I even
bumped into a friend I hadnít seen in 3 years in our hotel!
The magical moment of that
day occurred when we were having lunch and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa dropped by the
hotel. He was Seanís climbing Sherpa and was with him when he passed away. I
didnít expect to ever see him again and there he was. We hugged each other
immediately and had tears in our eyes talking about what had
happened. Sherpaís are extremely happy and excited when they get their
climbers to the top of Everest but those same emotions exist in the opposite
way when their clients fail or accidentally die.
It was so good to see him and
for him to meet Seanís children. We all went out for dinner that night. The
fact the three of them met allowed them to talk about Sean and for them to
Today, May 6, 2005 was a big
day for all of us. Sean was cremated in the late morning in what turned out to
be a beautiful Buddhist ceremony. Along a riverbank with two Lamas chanting
and a small closely-knit group of people that knew him, Sean went to the next
world. He was wrapped in a white linen sheet adorned with flowers covering
his body. This was the way Sean we knew would want to move on.
This afternoon, Anna, Seamas
and I went to spend the day at Child Haven. A place their father and the
trekkers dropped by earlier in the expedition to do charity work. Anna and
Seamas were awestruck by Child Haven and what it stands for. The children
draped themselves all over them and performed three ceremonial dances for
them. They loved it and everyone smiled and laughed. A wonderful way for
them to spend the rest of their day. One of the two foundersí of Child Haven
Mrs. Cappuccino just happened to be in Kathmandu today. Mrs. Cappuccino, her
daughter, a traveling friend and staff from Child Haven had also joined us at
the cremation ceremony.
Tomorrow, the three of us
leave for Lukla. Lakpa and I will be taking Anna and Seamas on a trek to
Namche Bazaar to re-trace their fatherís footsteps. We will be gone until
next week Wednesday. We all hope to depart Nepal by next week Friday. Anna
and Seamas will go to Ireland to spend three Ė four days with their relatives
before returning to Ottawa. I will head straight back to Toronto.
Before I say good-bye I want
to share some information about some really great things and people I need to
Kili Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa,
Sagar Poudyal Ė You know who Lakpa is. Kili is the owner of the guide company
we used while in Nepal. Sagar is his right hand man. They have been amazing
to us by helping out with all the smallest details while getting around
Kathmandu. They have given us vehicles and drivers to get us to hospitals and
ceremonies. Arranged for our lodging and airline tickets. Since Lakpa is our
guide for our trek to Namche Bazaar, it will be a wonderful trip.
Annie Fillipol, Gabrielleís
wife accompanied the kids from Canada on the airplane and gave them huge
amounts of support. She is off to Everest Base Camp now to be with her
husband when he successfully summits Everest.
Terry Kell, the sponsor of
the expedition has been working tirelessly in Ottawa to keep Seanís name and
legacy alive. Stay tuned for further details and I know you will want to get
involved. He could have walked away as a sponsor once we lost Sean but he
stayed on and worked with the family to insure everything would be okay.
Words cannot describe the amount of respect I have for him.
Seanís family and loved ones,
I know I havenít met all of you but the actions you have taken for the
children say you are everything a family should be.
Staff of Child Haven, you are
everything a charity should be. Full of love, compassion and a commitment to
Country of Nepal, have you
made an impression on me! Iíll see you again in the near future.
Dorothea Schramm, my
girlfriend who has never once asked me to come home since this tragedy has
happened. She knows why I am here and is my daily support person by satellite
phone. With out her I donít know how I would do this. My inspiration and
Many of you have asked or
mentioned how I am doing alone in Nepal. Iím fighting torn stomach muscles
from getting the Khumbu Cough while I was on Everest. My medicine is
remembering what Seanís family is going through. Yes it has been tough but
everyone here I know has been so supportive. From the climbers and support
staff at Everest Base Camp to the Sherpas who helped me get back to Kathmandu
and then all your e-mails, I know I am not alone.
Anna and Seamas, if I had
children, I would want them to grow up just like them. We are healing
Hope to see all of you back
in Canada. Harold Mah
To send a message to Harold
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