Mount Fuji, Japan, 06/29/2007
Tyler Hill was a history buff who considered Dwight D. Eisenhower one of his biggest heroes. Tyler used to say that, because of his Type-I diabetes, he’d never get to serve in the military, but he could lend his generous hand by traveling as an ambassador of peace. One can imagine the excitement Ty and his family felt the day he received a letter saying he’d been nominated to do just that.
Unfortunately, all of the excitement soon turned to unbearable sadness, when Tyler’s life tragically ended at the age of 16. After climbing Mount Fuji in June, 16-year-old Tyler became ill. He reported that he had altitude sickness. There is evidence that he asked for medical attention but none was provided. Japanese Hospital reported that Tyler’s life would have been saved had he received timely medical attention.
Help came too late. He died at the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, with his family unaware and half a world away.
Now his parents, Sheryl and Allen Hill of Mound allege in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Hennepin County that Tyler’s life could have been saved if he had received immediate medical attention.
“My biggest fear is that no one will know the truth,” said Sheryl Hill.
Sheryl Hill sobbed as she talked about her son, an experienced world traveler. When he died, he had just finished his sophomore year at Mound Westonka High School. He was an MVP rugby player, a tight end in football, a winger in hockey and a scuba diver.
She said Tyler suffered cerebral and cardiac edema after climbing Fuji. He asked for help, but instead was left alone in his room for hours, the lawsuit said.
His kidneys, his heart and his brain were failing, his mother said. “It’s a very slow, torturous death,” she said.
“Our goal is to herald Tyler’s story around the world so this will not happen to another family,” Sheryl Hill said.