Ashington man who nearly died of a blood clot to climb Mount Everest to prove doctors wrong


Stephen Sinclair has been told he will never be able to play sports again following a large blood clot that nearly claimed his life.

But now the 34-year-old from Ashington is ready to defy doctors’ expectations as he prepares to climb Mount Everest to benefit the Autism Awareness charity.

Stephen was just seven years old when he was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle after his left leg began to turn purple and swell. Doctors said he had a large blood clot from his ankle to his liver which, if left another day without medical attention, could have killed him.

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“It was just an unexpected thing,” Stephen said. Doctors could not explain why it happened, but said if it had been [left] one more day it would have reached my liver and I probably wouldn’t have.

“They also seriously considered amputating my leg. My entire leg ended up purple and my toes were black.”

Stephen Sinclair’s inspiration for the challenge is his son Frankie Sinclair who has autism.

He continued: “My mum took me to different doctors and they said it was a sprained groin because it started as pain in my groin and it developed quickly. Another doctor said it was an irritable hip but my mum said she didn’t’ I don’t believe it because my leg wouldn’t rotate [that] color and swelling.

“She took me to RVI and that’s where they said it was the blood clot.”

After spending weeks in hospital, Stephen was able to return home, but doctors said he would never be able to play sports again. Determined to prove the doctors wrong, Stephen became an active youth, becoming a black belt in martial arts.

Now working as a boxing promoter and personal trainer, Stephen is also an avid mountaineer and has spent years tackling some of the world’s toughest peaks including Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro. Now, as he prepares to climb the world’s highest peak in April next year, Stephen will tackle Aconcagua, known as Argentina’s ‘Mountain of Death’ this Christmas.

“I defied the odds,” he said. “[Doctors] said I would never play sports or drink alcohol. I think standing on top of the world on the tallest mountain will definitely be a ‘thing for you’ for the doctors who said I wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

Stephen Sinclair's inspiration for the challenge is his son Frankie Sinclair who has autism.
Stephen Sinclair’s inspiration for the challenge is his son Frankie Sinclair who has autism.

Stephen will begin his ascent of Mount Everest in April 2023 with the aim of reaching the summit by the end of May. But as his challenge approaches, he needs to raise £50,000 to cover the cost of the trip, as well as funds for the Autism Awareness charity.

He has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the trip and will organize boxing events to benefit the charity. And it’s a cause close to her heart, after her three-year-old son, Frankie Sinclair, was diagnosed with autism and is non-verbal. Stephen said he hoped to make his son proud of the challenge.

“He is the sweetest soul and is just full of smiles,” Stephen said of his son. “It’s my way of proving these doctors wrong and giving something back to help others with autism.

“I also want to show people who suffer from a lack of self-confidence and confidence that absolutely anything is possible if you have a strong enough why and think about it.”

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