Climb every mountain

Nurse anesthetist's goals aim high — really high

On May 18, 2013, Gosia Borchardt, a Washington University nurse anesthetist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, fulfilled a long-time goal: She reached the top of the world, the summit of Mt. Everest. Her quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents — the Seven Summits — has taken her to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa (2007), Mt. Elbrus in Europe (2009) and Mt. Aconcagua in South America (2010). An injury on the Aconcagua climb resulted in thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), surgery by Washington University vascular surgeon Robert Thompson, MD, and a long recovery. The Everest climb was the culmination of five years of planning and training. On her way back to base camp, she posted on Facebook: “I still can’t believe I made it all the way up to the summit.”

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