Londonderry quake survivor in Nepal pledge

Amy Webster back home with relieved parents Bernie and Tim
Amy Webster back home with relieved parents Bernie and Tim

Londonderry woman Amy Webster said she is planning to fundraise for the people of Nepal after finally arriving home from the disaster zone.

Amy, 24, fell into the waiting arms of her parents Tim and Bernie after flying into Belfast.

Her return brings to an end a week of worry for her family after Amy and her boyfriend Ryan Lloyd Davies got caught up in the Nepalese earthquake disaster, which has claimed the lives of over 7,000 people, including numerous fellow trekkers on Everest.

The couple only avoided a major avalanche en route to Base Camp immediately after the earthquake because Ryan got sick and they had to turn back.

They spent a week on a treacherous voyage off the mountain, negotiating pathways partially destroyed by a number of aftershocks and landslides.

Speaking as she arrived home to Londonderry, Amy told the Derry Journal that despite their ordeal she plans to go back to Nepal over the next few years.

She said both herself and Ryan had planned to volunteer until they realised that a food and water shortage and the fact that Nepal was already now over-run with unskilled volunteers, they might be more a hindrance than a help.

Instead, Amy – who has over the past 10 days helped tend to the wounded on Everest and gave donations to Buddhist monks whose homes were destroyed – now plans to begin fundraising from home and has urged local people to donate to the disaster emergency appeals.

She said: “I’m pretty glad to be back on solid ground. It’s a big relief for us to see our families today. It makes you realise what’s important.

“Looking back it’s been a pretty crazy week. During the walk down, the path was destroyed in parts and that was just an extra challenge but it wasn’t too bad.

“It was really sad seeing some of the villages destroyed.

“Everything went very quickly at the end. We weren’t sure what would happen when we got down but we got a flight pretty quickly.”

Amy said the Nepalese people were the nicest she has ever met, with some of them still smiling through the trauma as they try to rebuild their homes and their lives.

She added: “I am going back in a year or two.

“It is such an amazing country and the people are so lovely. I would urge people to please donate and I am going to try and do some fundraising for the people of Nepal. They really need help at the moment. It is a really poor country.”

Amy and Ryan were joined on the descent by TV star Amanda Holden’s sister Debbie whom Amy described as being “good craic”. They were also joined by a Swedish trekker called Andreas and a girl named Simone from the Czech Republic.

“We made it all the way down and on the last day of hiking I almost got pushed off a cliff edge by a yak. There’s not a lot you can do in that situation,” said Amy.

“With the group we parted ways at the end but by complete chance we all met up at the same hotel.

“It was sad leaving as well. They are the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met in my life.”