Family remembers Boston doctor who died climbing mountain in Pakistan

“We knew that he would do anything for us—we never had to worry, because he would shoulder any burden for those he loved.”

The sons of a Boston doctor who died while climbing a mountain in Pakistan are remembering their father for being a man who never gave up, and for his dedication to helping patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alex Goldfarb, 56, went missing Friday while attempting to summit the Pastore Peak, the Guardian reports. His body was found on Monday by a search party.

His family started a GoFundMe to search for his remains and bring him home. On it, his son, Levi Goldfarb, described the 56-year-old as having a “bounding energy” that drew others to him. 

“Alex was always the star of the show: when he wasn’t sharing the latest jokes, he regaled us with tales of epic ascents, like the time he spent the night in a hastily-made igloo on his descent from Lenin Peak (7134 m) or when he saved the life of a man while ice climbing to the peak of Khan Tengri (7010 m),” Levi Goldfarb wrote. “He always made time for interesting hobbies — most recently beekeeping — and kept in touch with friends from around the world.”

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Levi Goldfarb told Boston 25 News that his father went to Pakistan to climb the world’s 12th highest mountain with a friend the day after Christmas. The friend ended up staying back, worried that the terrain was too dangerous, the son said. 

“When they were doing this hike, his partner repeatedly told him that it was very dangerous,” Levi Goldfarb said. 

But his father went on.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Alex Goldfarb, who was a professor of medicine at Harvard, went to work at the epicenter of the outbreak to care for patients at Elmhurst Hospital in New York. 

“He taught me to stand up for what I believe is right, and to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves,” his son wrote. “If asked what his greatest achievement was, Alex would no doubt mention his family. We knew that he would do anything for us — we never had to worry, because he would shoulder any burden for those he loved. He was a great man, and I am proud to be his son. I hope I can one day be a fraction of the man he was.”

As of Wednesday, more than $86,000 had been donated to the family’s fundraiser. 

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