Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Kenyan runner feet amputated

Kenyan runner feet amputated

Kenyan runner found with severe frostbite after vanishing during Alaska snowstorm has both his feet amputated,A long-distance runner who spent more than two days in freezing temperatures without winter gear has had his feet amputated.

Marko Cheseto, 28, is one of several Kenyan runners who competed for the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) in cross-country and track.

He was seen at about 7pm in a UAA building on November 6, a Sunday night, as two snowstorms started to blanket Anchorage. His roommates reported him missing the next morning.The disappearance prompted an intensive search which included mountain rescue teams, ski patrols and search dogs.

He was found early the following Wednesday outside a hotel near the campus, wearing athletic shoes, a jacket and blue jeans but no hat or gloves. He was suffering from hypothermia and severe frostbite on his feet and hands.
The hotel manager told the Anchorage Daily News that when Mr Cheseto was found, paramedics could not remove his shoes because they were frozen to his feet.

Mr Cheseto's hands are expected to recover but his lower extremities were severely injured and required amputation. He is expected to remain in hospital for recovery and rehabilitation.
University police interviewed Mr Cheseto after he was found and reported he had suffered a 'personal crisis' when he disappeared.

He had reportedly been depressed over the suicide of his teammate and fellow Kenyan William Ritekwiang in February. Ritekwiang, 23, was found dead in his apartment near campus with no signs of foul play. He was a second-year student and another academic All-American runner.

Authorities concluded that Mr Cheseto had spent the entire time outside.
in a statement on the athletic department website, Mr Cheseto thanked volunteers and professionals who searched for him.

He said: 'As some may know, I've been going through a lot of personal issues.

'While I am still recovering - both physically and emotionally - I will do my very best to give back to the community that has helped me so much and to my home country, Kenya.

I sincerely apologise for any problems that I may have caused.'

Mr Cheseto left the campus one day after accompanying the UAA cross-country team to the NCAA Division II West Region championships in Spokane, Washington.

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