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We were a 3 man party starting the second week of a four week trip along the haute route de Pyrenees - i.e. the high route through the Pyrenees on the border of France and Spain. We had heavy packs - about 25 kgs - as we were carrying a full weeks food. We are very experienced walkers who have done extended trips - 4 to 6 weeks in the USA and Europe. We'd climbed through the Breche de Roland and were on a steep slope about half way down the other side.
One of the group (Jim Happ) who is 70 but fit and apparently healthy suddenly told us that he had pain in his shoulder and spreading into the arm. This seemed to us to be classic symptoms of a heart attack so we immediately activated the beacon. It took an hour for the rescue helicopter to arrive. By this time Jim had severe pain in his chest and difficulty breathing. The doctor on board administered drugs and they had loaded him and departed in another 15 mins. We walked out over the following 24 hours and found that he had been flown to huesca for emergency treatment and then transferred to the ICU of the university hospital in Zaragoza. He is there now awaiting transfer back to Australia.
One of the group suddenly told us that he had pain in his shoulder and spreading into the arm. This seemed to us to be classic symptoms of a heart attack so we immediately activated the beacon.
Thank you ACR.
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