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UBC faculty of medicine mourns loss of colleague who died climbing Mount Everest

Last Updated May 26, 2023 at 5:45 pm MDT

The UBC sign is pictured at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. The University of British Columbia's faculty of medicine is mourning the unexpected death of Dr. Pieter Swart, an anesthesiologist and associate professor, who died on Mount Everest on May 25. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER — A Vancouver man has died while trying to pursue his lifelong dream of climbing Mount Everest.

The University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine says it is mourning the unexpected death of Dr. Pieter Swart, an anesthesiologist and associate professor at the school.

Dr. Hamed Umedaly, one of Swart’s colleagues in the university’s anesthesiology department, says Swart was a “beloved friend” who had an “insatiable wanderlust.” 

In a post shared online by the university, Umedaly says Swart died Thursday due to a “respiratory event” while descending the mountain.  

It says he was pursuing a childhood dream of “being on top of the world” and describes Swart as a respected and caring doctor.

The post says a memorial will be arranged with Swart’s family.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2023. 

The Canadian Press