Breathitt man cancels Everest attempt

jwarren@herald-leader.comFebruary 8, 2010 

Knee problems have forced a Breathitt County man to cancel his plan to climb Mount Everest in April.

Martin Douthitt of Jackson said arthritis in his left knee developed after he climbed Denali in Alaska last July.

The pain worsened while Douthitt trained for Everest over the past few months, finally forcing him to cancel his planned assault on the world's highest mountain.

Now, Douthitt, 64, is hoping that a medical procedure in Germany will solve the knee problem so he can tackle Everest next year.

Douthitt said doctors in Dusseldorf, Germany, will remove some of his white blood cells next month, treat them with proteins and inject them into his knee. The procedure is not approved in the United States. But if it works, Douthitt's knee should grow new cartilage.

"I've got my fingers crossed," he said. "Cancelling out on Everest was hard, but I got to where I could barely walk. I stopped training for a month, hoping it would get better, but it didn't."

Reach Jim Warren at (859) 231-3255 or 1-800-950-6397 Ext. 3255.

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