A U of A student died last week as he and several other students traveled to the base of Mt. Everest.
Morgan Boisson, a 20-year-old U of A senior and member of the cheerleading team, was spending the semester studying in China, when he and about 13 other students decided to check out base camp at Mt. Everest.
The group went to the Tibetan city of Lhasa, where students got special travel visas that allowed them to go to the Tibetan highlands by bus and end at the base camp.
After going from Lhasa, which is about 11,000 feet above sea level to Everest's base camp, at 18,000 feet, in less than two days, Boisson started to show symptoms of altitude sickness.
On the first night at base camp, according to the Daily Wildcat, U of A's student newspaper, students reported Boisson walking around disoriented and calling people wrong names.
At 7:30 the next morning, Boisson was foaming at the mouth, non-responsive, and having trouble breathing.
Elizabeth Boisson, Morgan Boisson's mother, told the Wildcat that the students tried to get Boisson down the mountain quickly but about half way down, he lost a pulse.
"The kids tried their best to save him," she says. "They did everything they could."
At one point, one of the students called the mother and held the phone to Boisson's ear. She says she doesn't know whether he heard her.
U of A is holding a candlelight vigil for Boisson on November 6 at 8:30 p.m. at the McKale Center.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.