Stranded American researcher rescued from South Pole

Story highlights

  • Renee-Nicole Douceur suffered a stroke in August at a South Pole research station
  • Douceur has been unable to fly out of the region to receive treatment due to weather conditions
  • Affiliate: A cargo plane evacuated Douceur on Monday
After weeks of waiting, an American researcher who suffered a suspected stroke while working in the South Pole flew out Monday.
Renee-Nicole Douceur, 58, had been stranded at the Amundsen-Scott research station in Antarctica since she fell ill on August 27. She had been unable to leave to receive treatment, due to bad weather and storms that prevent planes from landing during the region's winter period.
The website SaveRenee.org reported Sunday that Douceur will depart from the South Pole on a cargo flight.
On Monday, CNN affiliate TVNZ said she boarded a U.S. Air Force cargo plane.
The New Hampshire woman will first go to McMurdo Station in Antarctica and then to Christchurch, New Zealand, later this week.
Last week, Douceur told CNN she had been pleading for a rescue evacuation flight since her initial stroke but her request was denied.
Raytheon Polar Services -- the company that runs the station for the National Science Foundation -- deemed it too dangerous to send an air rescue crew in, she said.
"While I was devastated that I had a stroke, it was like, oh, my God, it just stymied me...and I cried," Douceur said. " I just didn't know what to do and the doctors basically told me, just go back to my room.".
Raytheon Polar Services told CNN that Douceur's station has a well-trained medical staff that can provide all levels of medical for employees.
Elizabeth Cohen, the senior medical correspondent for CNN, said it wasn't the lack of doctors that was the issue. It was the lack of equipment and a stroke-expert.
"In the United States, or New Zealand, where I guess she's hoping to go, they would have stroke experts who would be able to do imaging and see where that stroke was and do rehab specifically designed for that particular location of the brain where the stroke occurred. But they don't have that there," Cohen said last week..
Cohen says Douceur has been doing some basic rehab while at the station, which includes re-learning math.
"This is a nuclear engineer who is having trouble with sixth grade math," Cohen said.