Salem man makes it his life’s goal to inform others of potentially deadly sickness

Sep 28, 2017, 3:18 AM

SALEM – One man is making it his mission to educate people about the quick-acting sickness that is believed to have killed his son.  He’s asking everyone to know the signs of altitude sickness.

Douglas Julian remembers vividly the time the chief of Salem Police telling him the tragic news.  He says, “The chief came up, put both his hands on my shoulders and, just quite frankly, told me my son had passed away.”

(Photo Credit: Douglas Julian)

In disbelief, he asked three times if it was a joke.  He later had to tell his wife that their son, Doug, died while hiking with his scout group in the High Uinta Mountains.  Julian says his wife broke down, which has become something that has been happening, frequently.  “It’s a hole that I’ll never fill.  How can you replace a child you love?  You can’t,” Julian says.

His son had been in high elevation before and had even felt the effects of altitude sickness in the past, but, thought nothing of it.  People in the troop tried CPR on Doug, and revived him, twice.  However, Julian says young Doug kept coughing up the fluid that had filled his lungs.

Since, the tragedy, he and his wife have relied on the kindness of neighbors, and have been going through counseling.  He adds, “I don’t know how to cope with it without help.  Neither does she.”

Now, he’s turning his attention to informing others of how serious altitude sickness can be.  “I know there is a profound ignorance in relation to it.  Most people have experienced it and don’t really think it’s a big deal,” Julian says.

Since his son’s death, Julian has spoken with outdoor retail stores to have them post more information on their websites.  He’s spoke with the Boy Scouts of America, as they compile data to write articles about it, adding “We may even do a video training for future scout leaders.”  He’s reached out to Senator Orrin Hatch, trying to contact officials with the Bureau of Land Management, so they can have signs about altitude sickness at trailheads.

If there is one silver lining to the dark cloud, it’s that more people are asking about altitude sickness after young Julian’s passing.  University of Utah Wilderness Medicine Director Richard Ingebretsen says, “We’ve had a number of people call and a number of people inquire about courses or how they can learn more.”

Ingebretsen says it’s crucial people know the signs.  A frothy sputum could be assign of your lungs filling with water, and there’s an extremely dangerous sign that could show your brain is swelling.  “If you go up and then you start having trouble walking and you become clumsy, that means you’re about ready to die,” he says.

Julian says one thing that could have really helped is a satellite phone.  He says precious time was lost while one member of his son’s troop traveled for hours to get a cell phone signal to call 911.

Today’s Top Stories

Trucks are lined up for sale at Low Book Sales in Lindon on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. Most new vehicl...
Heather Kelly

Automatic emergency braking should only be used as a last resort

AAA of Utah says automatic emergency braking systems have limitations and should only be used as a last resort to prevent a crash.
1 day ago
Ballpark Station closes Thursday night due to a debris on the tracks. Photo credit: Salt Lake City ...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Transit Authority closes Ballpark Station due to debris on tracks

Ballpark Station closes Thursday night due to a debris on the tracks.
1 day ago
Utah airbnb rentals rising interest rates affecting millennial home buyers...
Mark Jones

Eviction filings on the rise in Utah, compared to this time last year

The Rental Housing Association of Utah says eviction filings in Utah saw a 46% increase in the first six months of this year as compared to the same time in 2021.
1 day ago
(Getty Images)...
Mark Jones

21-year-old man sentenced for multiple sex crimes

A 21-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday for four sex crimes he pled guilty to in August.
1 day ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
1 day ago
utah employment...
Alejandro Lucero

Annual Golden Key Awards presented to local businesses

Golden Key Awards recognize the people and businesses who believe in Utahns with disabilities, said a press release. Nine businesses were recognized today.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Salem man makes it his life’s goal to inform others of potentially deadly sickness