Brain surgery Scot sets off on South Pole mission

AN Edinburgh finance worker, who is aiming to become the youngest person in history to carry out a solo expedition to the South Pole, has begun his trek.

Luke during an expedition training course in Eastern Greenland
Luke during an expedition training course in Eastern Greenland

Luke Robertson has battled heart problems and undergone brain surgery, but now he is hoping to become the first Scot to reach the destination, ­unassisted and unsupported, to raise money for charity. Mr Robertson, who had a pacemaker fitted when he was just 23 after he was diagnosed with complete heart block, has attracted support from high-profile adventurers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has described it as “one of the most enduring challenges possible”.

The 30-year-old – who is originally from Stonehaven but lives in Broughton – has already raised more than £34,000 for cancer charity Marie Curie.

Due to adverse weather conditions, he was late beginning his journey – entitled Due South – but now he is set to brave temperatures of -50C and 100mph winds in just 35 days.

Mr Robertson was inspired to make the treacherous journey after spending three weeks among cancer patients in the neurology ward of the Western General Hospital.

He was rushed in to the hospital after a brain scan revealed a large mass. It was suspected to be cancerous, but turned out to be a benign cyst,