Matt is an inspiration
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 February 2014
An inspirational burns survivor from Bristol is preparing to face a mammoth challenge.
In 1994 Matt Boyle was electrocuted while backpacking across Australia.
The 65 per cent burns caused the loss of his ears, some of his fingers and much of his hair and he had to spend six months in hospital.
Now the 39-year-old volunteers with the Frenchay After Burns (FAB) Childrens Club, an independent charity which supports the rehabilitation of young burns survivors from across the South West.
To support its work, Matt is currently training for an arduous trek to the Mount Everest base camp in November when he will walk 120 kilometres in 18 days and climb to an altitude of more than 17,000 feet.
He hopes to raise more than 10,000 for FAB. Matt says: I know, from my own experiences, the priceless value of support following a burn injury and the dramatic difference it can make to recovery.
At the time of my own accident I looked in the mirror and thought that my life was over, but I met another patient who made me realise I still had a life to live - hed also been badly burned at a similar age to me but he refused to let it define him.
FAB understands that the emotional and psychological scars can run much deeper than the physical scars.
The charity has no paid staff and relies entirely upon the generosity of local fundraisers and businesses.
Ive been involved with previous fundraising events, including a skydive, but I wanted to do something which was bigger and bolder.
Scaling Everest was the biggest challenge I could think of. Id love to climb all the way to the top but this can be incredibly expensive, so reaching base camp seemed to be the next best thing.
All profits will help to fund weekend breaks and special camps for young burns survivors from across the South West who have been scarred by housefires, explosions, electrocutions and scalds.
Matt, from Easton, is training by walking the Brecon Beacons as often as possible, as well as cycling and other activities.
He adds: I want to show people that challenges are there to be overcome and demonstrate to burn injured children that nothing is impossible.