Henry Worsley has died after he fell ill just 30 miles short of his goal of becoming the first man to cross the continent solo.
Henry Worsley was 71 days in to his attempt to become the first adventurer to cross the continent completely unsupported and unassisted when he was airlifted from the ice on Friday.
The 55-year-old was suffering from bacterial peritonitis, a condition that occurs when the abdominal lining becomes infected. When Worsley found himself in the middle of a blizzard and his health continued to decline, he sent one final message before being airlifted off the ice to the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile:
“The 71 days alone on the Antarctic with over 900 statute miles covered and a gradual grinding down of my physical endurance finally took its toll today, and it is with sadness that I report it is journey’s end — so close to my goal.”
During the most trying moments of his journey, the former British army officer was likely motivated by his philanthropic efforts and altruism, raising $140,000 for wounded soldiers and veterans. Before embarking on his final journey, Worsley told the BBC: “There is no black art to driving one ski in front of the other. What is driving me on is the money for these wounded soldiers.”
After spending two days unable to move from his tent, Worsley ended his attempt to complete idolized explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to the South Pole. Unfortunately, the infection Worsley incurred was too severe and doctors were unable to control its spread. Worsley died on Sunday morning.