Kailua woman saving lives on Mount Everest

Torrey Goodman
Torrey Goodman

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

KAILUA (KHNL) - Torrey Goodman is packing her bags for a special place that requires special supplies, comfort food and reminders of home.

"I take a little bit of the island every where I go," Goodman said. "I am so excited. I'm just beyond excited."

However, this is no vacation. Serious training is required for this journey. Goodman spent months climbing and hiking up and down snow covered mountains.

"Scaling a 200 foot waterfall was strenuous especially because it's not something I do on a regular basis," Goodman said.

Her next quest takes her to a place, where it's deathly cold, the air is very thin, and where many others have died trying to achieve their life time goal.

In a nation-wide search of emergency room doctors, Goodman was selected to work at the highest E.R. in the world; 17,000 feet on Mount Everest.

She is the first doctor from Hawaii to earn this opportunity.

"It's a huge honor. This is a huge honor. You have to be really inventive and kind of be able to deal with anything and everything. You have no idea what's going to roll in, in the next 5 minutes," she said.

Frost bite - the freezing of flesh - and hypothermia - the drastic loss of body heat - are just some of the life-threatening ailments Goodman could treat.

"In any given moment, there can be a storm and, if you are in the wrong place, with inadequate gear, you can freeze to death and die," she told us.

Goodman knows the risks but is fueled by her passion to help others.

So she leaves the comforts of home, ready to carry out her mission.

"For me, it's not about personal challenges as much as it is about making a difference," Goodman said.

Climbers pay for any treatment they receive at the Mt. Everest E.R. and part of that money goes to the local community to help the Nepalese who do not have health care coverage.