A Dundee man who had lifesaving surgery has completed his second round of Munros.
Cam Johnston’s inspiring images show him with friends atop his final Munro, Slioch near Kinlochewe – earlier this month and first time round, 25 years ago.
It was thanks to emergency surgery at Ninewells that Cam was able to make that return journey after medics said he could have choked in his sleep from a growth in his throat.
In 2017, the 53-year-old, from Dundee, began suffering shortness of breath which he thought could be asthma.
Cam’s condition worsened before he finally went to see his GP who said his windpipe had been compressed from 25mm to 6mm from his thyroid.
The engineer was told he could have died and was rushed for a seven hour op.
Cam had already completed all 282 Munros and was trying to tick them off for a second time before he fell ill.
Not deterred by his surgery, he continued on his expedition to knock off the remaining 96 just 10 weeks after his lifesaving operation.
Cam says: “Ten weeks later I was back on the summit of Carn na Caim, a Munro just off the A9 near Drummochter. I never looked back.
“It was very emotional to be back on the same summit almost 25 years later completing the Munros again – even more so considering what I’d been through.
“The biggest shock was finding out how large my thyroid had become due to the enlargement.
“A normal thyroid weighs 25 grams. They removed 1,100 grams from inside my neck.
“I was very tired the first few weeks as my body adjusted to having no thyroid. I had blood tests every few weeks to allow them to fine tune my thyroxine.”
Health message for others
Cam encourages others to not hesitate before speaking to a doctor if they have health issues: “My denial something was wrong was the most stupid thing I have ever done in my life.
“Before I was discharged the consultant told me I was lucky they had caught me just in time.
“I asked in time for what? He replied, you could have gone to bed any night and just not woken up. You would have choked to death in your sleep.
“I was effectively breathing through a ‘straw’. Thankfully the growth in my thyroid was benign.
“And thankfully I’m here to tell the tale and to enjoy life once again.
‘Make the most of life’
“If something does not seem right – speak to your doctor. Denial can be a killer.
“I got lucky in the end and will always be thankful to the NHS and the team at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee who looked after me so well and got me back on the road.
“Be inspired and make the most of every day – none of us knows what is round the corner.
“Enjoy every day like it’s your last. Be positive and try to encourage others to be the same.”