South Australian dies descending Mt Everest

An Adelaide man who learned to walk again after a spinal injury has died after successfully reaching the peak of Mt Everest while on a charity expedition.

May 22, 2023, updated May 22, 2023


Jason Kennison, 40, died on Friday, his family said in a statement.

“He achieved his goal of reaching the peak … he stood on top of this world but sadly didn’t come home,” they said on social media.

“He was the most courageous, adventurous human we knew and he will be forever missed.”

An expedition organiser told the Himalayan Times Kennison had been assisted from the summit after becoming unwell before collapsing on a platform below.

Poor weather conditions had prevented rescuers from reaching him.

Kennison, an engineer from South Australia who had been living in Perth, faced years of rehabilitation after being seriously injured in a 2006 car crash.

Jason Kennison. Photo:

A routine spinal procedure three years ago resulted in complications including spinal nerve damage which forced him to learn how to walk again for a second time.

“After all the setbacks and injuries I have had, it was a spinal cord injury that changed my life and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone,” he wrote on a fundraising page for the expedition.

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“Although I feel grateful with the extent of what I suffered in comparison to my other injuries … it is traumatic, difficult and requires incredible resilience to get through.

“However, I am going to make the most of my life and part of that involves helping other people who have had their life changed in an instant through spinal cord injury.

“They shouldn’t be forgotten; they should be helped.”

Kennison had been raising money for support organisation Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, which confirmed it was aware of his death.

In a fundraising article he wrote on the site in March, Kennison said that he aimed to reach Everest base camp “and hope to continue to higher camps of the mountain from here”.

“Whilst I wish to complete the ascent to challenge myself both mentally and physically, my main reason is to raise funds and awareness for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, to help people like me living with spinal cord injury to live their best life,” he wrote.

-with AAP

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