Heartbreak as Aussie dies on Mt Everest charity climb

·3-min read

The family of an Australian man who died while descending Mt Everest during a fundraising expedition say they couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments.

Jason Kennison, 40, died on Friday after becoming unwell while climbing down the world's tallest mountain.

He had reached the summit during an expedition to raise funds to support people with spinal injuries.

"He achieved his goal of reaching the peak ... he stood on top of this world but sadly didn't come home," his family said.

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

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

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," Mr Kennison wrote on a fundraising page for the expedition.

"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."

Mr Kennison had been helped from the summit after becoming unwell before collapsing on a platform below, an expedition organiser told the Himalayan Times.

Poor weather had prevented rescuers from reaching him.

Mr Kennison lived a full life, his father Jock, mother Gill and five siblings said in a statement.

"He would put his mind to something, set a goal and achieve it," they said.

"Whether that be playing footy as a kid, winning motorcross races, working around the world in the mining industry and in high-risk environments.

"We are so proud of his achievements and we take great solace in knowing he made it to the summit. The highest place on this earth.

"We would like to send our greatest love and thanks to Nepal where he had sherpas go above and beyond to help try to bring him home."

Mourners and supporters are asked to provide donations to Mr Kennison's JustGiving fundraising page in lieu of flowers.

"We are worlds apart but united through our love for Jason," his family said.

"His family are heartbroken and he will be forever missed."

Mr Kennison was raising money for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

"We were beyond shocked to hear the news of his passing whilst undertaking such an incredibly inspiring feat," a statement released by the advocacy group said.

"He was a shining example of overcoming the odds and Jason showcased incredible tenacity and determination in everything he set his mind to.

"Jason was an amazing man and we are so honoured that he chose to support our organisation. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

Mr Kennison's death is reported to be the 10th fatality on Mt Everest during the prime spring climbing season.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian who had died in Nepal.