A DEVOTED Port widow pushed himself to the limit to leave a lasting tribute to his beloved wife on Everest - and raise £6,000 in her memory.

Ferguson Marine shipyard worker Lawrence Gemmell has reached Everest base camp in aid of Ardgowan Hospice.

It comes four years after his wife, mum-of-two Carolann, lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 55.

Three years ago Lawrence reached the Mount Kilimanjaro summit.

On the way up to the Everest base camp Lawrence - who completed both epic climbing challenges with his friend and former workmate Robert Mitchell - left stones with the names of Carolann, his two daughters and his grandchildren.

On reaching the end of his climb emotional Lawrence said: "It was a highly emotional day at Everest Base Camp.

"The whole group made it all the way and we had a wee celebration with fireball whisky.

"Bob and I wore hospice shirts and flew the flag for Ferguson Marine, who helped us greatly with our fund.

“When it was finally time to head for home we placed a handful of memories to Carolann and we will think of her, this place and our messages every time a picture of Everest appears .”

Lawrence, 59, who lives in Marloch Avenue, was married to Carolann for 34 years and they have two daughters Nicola and Louise.

Following his wife's death after an 18-month fight with cancer, he decided to take part in the Mt Kilimanjaro challenge for charity.

Now following their Everest ascent Lawrence and Robert have raised a total of £14,000 for the hospice.

His proud daughter Nicola, who has been cheering him on with the rest of his family, said: "We are all so proud of dad and Robert and no-one would have been prouder than our mum.

"She was the inspiration that drives us all."

Lawrence and Robert reached base cam on Sunday, a height of over three miles above sea level, wearing Ardgowan Hospice shirts and hoisting the Ferguson Marine shipyard flag.

Ferguson's donated £1,00 to the challenge and for the last 20 years they have been supporting the hospice through the company's welfare fund.

The pair climbed Everest with an international group of Scots, English, Irish, South Africans, German and Canadians.

Dad-of-two Robert, 36, from Greenock, said: "There is something about being in such a dramatic and challenging environment that brings any mixture of nationalities together.

"The new friends in our company have been as much an inspiration as the place itself.”