Mount Everest death: Maria Strydom fell ill just 15 minutes from summit
Australian university lecturer Maria Strydom fell ill just 15 minutes’ climb from the summit of Mount Everest and waited while her husband Robert Gropel reached the top. She died on the way back down the mountain in his arms on 20 May. “I asked, ‘Do you mind if I go on,’ and she said, ‘Yes, you go on, I’ll wait for you here,’” her husband Robert Gropel told the Seven Network on Sunday. “From that position the summit didn’t look that far, 15 minutes away. “When I made it to the summit of Everest it wasn’t special to me, because I didn’t have her there.