‘It’s a mental push’: Amputee reaches highest mountain in Wales in less than 6 hours
Five years ago, Mr Matt Edwards lost his leg in a traffic accident.
But that did not stop the 24-year-old, who is on crutches, to reach the summit of Yr Wyddfa, also known as Snowdon last Saturday. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales.
Mr Edwards made the climb to raise money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands), a charity in the UK. The charity supports anyone who is affected by the death of a baby.
He has raised more than 1,000 pounds (S$1,600) so far and the sum will be donated to Sands.
This comes after his brother-in-law lost his daughter in a stillbirth last year. The unfortunate incident broke his brother-in-law dramatically and affected him, said Mr Edwards.
“That’s why I chose Sands to raise money for - it is in remembrance of Vienna Bowden, his baby girl,” he added.
The climb took Mr Edwards five hours and 45 minutes. He hiked the mountain with his friend Jack Sharpe and Mr Sharpe’s 13-year-old nephew.
They have taken a route called the “Pyg Track” - which has been described as “a rocky and difficult path with several steep climbs”.
“I’m very, very proud of myself – it’s a mental push,” said Mr Edwards in local reports.
“I was kind of giving up towards the end, but then something in my brain (was) saying, ‘No, I can’t give up now because it’s for a good cause’.
In 2018, Mr Edwards from Portsmouth, a city in UK, lost part of his left leg in a motorbike collision.
At that time, Mr Edwards recalled that he found it “physically and mentally hard” to process the fact that he had lost a limb. He then turned to drugs and alcohol before spending three weeks in rehab.
He later found his love for keeping fit and set up a charity, Boxing for the Brain, to help people with low self-esteem.
Mr Edwards, who is a boxing coach, uses crutches as he cannot wear a prosthetic leg due to an abscess. An abscess is a collection of pus in tissues, organs or confined spaces in the body.
“When we were hiking the mountain, there (were) actually people that had two limbs, and they looked fit, and they were coming down. They’d turned back saying they couldn’t do it - it was knackering, too icy, too dangerous,” said Mr Edwards, who was quoted in local media reports.
“That gave me the little push further to say, ‘oh, if they can’t do it, I’m going to make sure I can’. When we reached the summit, it’s just an amazing feeling.”
The weather that day was very cold that it left Mr Edwards’ right foot numb. But that has not stopped him to embark more challenges in future.
His next goal is to continue his journey and become an amateur boxer in the UK.