Frostbitten polar trekker airlifted to hospital

A member of the three-woman expedition bidding to set a Polar trekking record has been airlifted off the ice with frostbitten feet, it emerged today.

A member of the three-woman expedition bidding to set a Polar trekking record has been airlifted off the ice with frostbitten feet, it emerged today.

Pom Oliver, aged 50, from Sussex, England, was today recovering in a medical centre at Resolute Bay, northern Canada.

The other two members of the expedition, mother of triplets Ann Daniels, 37, from Devon, England, and 35-year-old Caroline Hamilton, from central London, were continuing their trek across the icecap to the North Pole.

The women are bidding to become the first to trek all the way to both Poles, having conquered the South Pole in January, 2000.

Expedition spokesman Julian Mills said today that Ms Oliver was ‘‘desperately disappointed’’ at not being able to continue.

She was flown off after the expedition was re-supplied on Sunday and the women were checked over by field manager and sports injury specialist Zoe Hudson.

All three women suffered from frostnip and frostbite in the freezing temperatures, and were taking advice on medication and treatment from UK-based Dr Steven Martin, a former member of the British Antarctic Survey and Polar explorer.

Ann Daniels and Caroline Hamilton recovered.

But while Pom Oliver’s affected fingers and toes also healed, her two big toes became infected, said Mr Mills.

‘‘She was pushing herself into the pain barrier so as not to hinder the progress of the expedition,’’ he said.

‘‘She feels comfortable that the other two can make it to the Pole without her, and she is going to stay out there while her feet recover,’’ he added.

The expedition has now covered 85 miles in 47 days on the ice - leaving 293 miles to the North Pole.

All three women were members of a five-woman expedition which reached the South Pole in January 2000.

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