Brianna Wolters has been spending every waking hour outside her shifts as a nurse at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, desperately trying to help her mother who is stranded in Nepal amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fifty-two-year-old Molly Sitwell embarked on a journey of a lifetime in early March, after planning and training for two years.

“We left Canada on the 11th, everything was fine. I mean, there were certainly rumblings, but we were allowed to leave the country, we were allowed to get a visitor’s permit upon entering Nepal,” said Sitwell.

At the time, there were no travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sitwell travelled to Nepal from Ontario, with a friend, to climb Mount Everest.

“My mom is very athletic … and rocks the gym all the time and so they decided to commemorate both of their fathers’ deaths, they wanted to do Mount Everest together,” explained Wolters.

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Sitwell achieved her goal but the thrill soon turned to panic.

She learned Nepal would be shutting down its main airport to all travel.

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“The guides have been doing this for many years and said there was absolutely no way to get them down the mountain safely in time to catch those last flights,” said Wolters.