Dad, 64, died climbing Everest despite being in ‘best shape of life’ after he ‘developed fungal infection in his blood’


A DAD died climbing Mount Everest after developing a fungal infection in his blood despite being in the “best shape of his life”, an inquest head.

Sheldon Marshall, 64, was attempting to climb the path to Everest Base Camp on horseback as he acclimatised to the altitude but fell and damaged his ribs on the stony track.

Sheldon Marshalls lifelong ambition was to climb Mount Everest

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Sheldon Marshalls lifelong ambition was to climb Mount EverestCredit: MuchLoved
His family said had an 'adventurous streak'

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His family said had an ‘adventurous streak’Credit: MuchLoved

The successful picture agency boss was airlifted by helicopter back down the mountain but it was found he was suffering from lung difficulties and altitude sickness.

Doctors in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu believed he was suffering from a fungal infection in his blood, the inquest heard.

After numerous attempts to get him back to the UK failed, he was admitted to hospital in India but died of a cardiac arrest on December 2017.

His heartbroken family paid tribute to him on a web page set up in his memory.

“Sheldon, who always had an adventurous streak, suffered unusual respiratory complications that he sadly did not recover from whilst fulfilling a lifelong ambition of climbing Mount Everest in Nepal,” they said.

“He will be missed greatly by all who knew him but will never be forgotten.”

He will be missed greatly by all who knew him but will never be forgotten

Sheldon Marshall’s family

The amateur adventurer was in the “best shape of his life” after losing three stone in a year ahead of his bid to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

But Surrey Coroner’s Court heard he struggled with the acclimatisation walks and allowed his son, James, and the rest of his group, to hike ahead of him while he was accompanied by local porter.

James Marshall told the court his dad had fallen slightly behind on the way to two-thirds of the way up to Everest Base Camp and hired a horse.

“We said that we would continue to a place called Dughla for lunch and wait for him to meet us there,” he said.

Sheldon struggling with acclimatisation on the world's highest mountain

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Sheldon struggling with acclimatisation on the world’s highest mountainCredit: Getty
Sheldon was the boss of a successful picture agency

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Sheldon was the boss of a successful picture agencyCredit: MuchLoved

“I saw him again at 6pm in Lobuche when he arrived on a horse, which was very surprising,” said James.

“At that time he was very excited to finish the day but he told me that he was feeling very tired and had a fall when trying to get on the horse.

“He told me very clearly he fell as he got on the horse the first time.

“He said that the saddle had slipped off and they had to reattach it or tighten it underneath.”

“His breathing became much more laboured. He looked very pale. He was finding it difficult to speak. We were putting blankets around him and we thought he needed more serious attention.”

The family said they felt frustrated when their insurance company “avoided the policy” when they say it became apparent that Mr Marshall needed an air ambulance.

Mr Marshall had booked the trip and Mayday insurance through Exodus Travels.

The insurance company claims Mr Marshall failed to declare all of his medical conditions – including asthma – before he booked.

Eventually, his son paid for an air ambulance to take his dad to the nearer location of New Delhi in India where doctors attempted to save his life.

Mr Marshall’s career spanned over 40 years where he was a well-known figure in the photographic industry, including when he became the CEO of Visual Communications Group.

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