Stroke Victim Stranded at South Pole

Rene-Nicole Douceur, a 58-year-old manager at a research station near the South Pole, is stranded in the Antarctic winter. She suffered an unexpected stroke on Aug. 27, and station doctors decided she needed to be moved immediately for medical treatment. But Raytheon Polar Services, the corporation that manages the station, has refused, saying that the weather makes any attempt at transport to and from the station extremely dangerous, and that Douceur's condition is not life-threatening. She suffered partial vision loss, and the station doesn't have medicines to treat stroke victims. “My question back to them is, by what standard is a stroke considered a nonemergency?" said Douceur's niece, who has mounted an Internet campaign on her aunt's behalf. The first cargo flight of the spring from the base is on Oct. 17, and would take Douceur to New Zealand for treatment.