RIP Dr Jerri Nielsen : Medical Doctor Who Diagnosed Self with Brest Cancer in Antarcitca Dies

Dr. Jerri Lin Nielsen (March 1, 1952 - June 23, 2009)

A doctor, Jerri Nielsen, who made headlines in 1999 after diagnosing herself with breast cancer while working on assignment in Antarctica during the depths of the southern winter has died, US media said.

Dr. Jerri Nielsen passed away from cancer on Tuesday at the age of 57 brother Eric Cahill said. US media said Jerry Nielsen passed away surrounded by her family in Massachusetts.

Dr Jerri Nielsen worked in hospital ER's for many years before being hired in 1998 to serve as physician for the lonely Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.

During her time at Amundsen-Scott, Jerry Nielsen diagnosed herself with breast cancer and made new headlines around the world after a series of emergency airlifts via military jets to bring her lifesaving medical supplies in the remote outpost.

The only trained medical doctor among 41 staff at the National Science Foundation based Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole, Jerry Nielson at first told noone of her breast lump. However the psycological burden became too much for Dr Jerry Nielsen.

"I got really sick," Jerry Nielsen said in a 2003 interview. "I had great big lymph nodes under my arm. I thought I would die."

With no flights able to reach her, Jerry Nielsen had to treat the cancer herself with the help of base colleges and a satellite link to doctors.

Dr Jerry Nielson performed a biopsy on herself with the help of staff. A machinist helped Jerry Nielson with her IV, and a welder helped with chemotherapy.

Jerry Nielson managed to treat herself with anti-cancer drugs delivered during a dangerous mid-July airdrop by a U.S. Air Force in pitch black, super freezing conditions.

Later the United States military launched the earliest flight ever recorded into Antarctic during the deep Southern winter to retrieve Dr Jerry Nielsen on an emergency dash to bring her to surgery

The story of Dr Jerry Nielsen became a best-selling autobiography, 'Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Story of Survival at the South Pole' and a even a TV movie was made on the Dr Jerry Nielsen story. Actress Susan Sarandon played Dr Jerri Nielsen.


1 Response to "RIP Dr Jerri Nielsen : Medical Doctor Who Diagnosed Self with Brest Cancer in Antarcitca Dies"

WVDiva said... June 24, 2009 at 7:25 PM

What a remarkable woman. Prayers of comfort to her family and loved ones.