26 February 2023

‘It’s worth it’, says amputee who ‘crutched’ himself up Snowdon for charity

26 February 2023

An amputee who used crutches to hike to the summit of Snowdon said “it definitely kept me going” to remember the cause he has raised more than £1,000 for.

Matt Edwards, 24, is a boxing coach from Portsmouth, Hampshire, who vowed to raise funds for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) after his brother-in-law, Callum, went through a stillbirth in 2022.

Mr Edwards lost his left leg below the knee five years ago when he was involved in a traffic collision while commuting to work on his motorbike, but along with his friend Jack Sharpe and Mr Sharpe’s 13-year-old nephew reached the summit of Mount Snowdon in North Wales on Saturday.

“I’m very, very proud of myself – it’s a mental push,” Mr Edwards told the PA news agency.

“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’.

“It definitely kept me going the whole time, I was thinking about my family, and my missus’ family, and (how the stillbirth) affected them last year.

“When we reached the summit, it’s just an amazing feeling … You’re so high, the wind’s blowing, you’re fricking cold, but it’s all worth it.”

Mr Edwards said that due to a lack of family support at the time and finding it “physically and mentally hard” to process the accident that resulted in the amputation, he turned to alcohol and drugs, and spent time in rehab for three weeks from February to March 2019.

The initial shock and difficulty of coming to terms with what happened developed into Mr Edwards turning his life around and a newfound lust for fitness and helping others, including creating a charity called Boxing for the Brain to help others with low self-esteem.

Mr Edwards said he wanted to complete the challenge to hike Mount Snowdon in under six hours and the three managed it in five hours and 45 minutes.

He used crutches as he could not wear his prosthetic leg due to an abscess.

“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,” he said.

“That gave me the little push further to say, ‘Oh, if they can’t do it, I’m going to make sure I can.’

“I just wanted people to look at me and think, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.'”

“I get a thrill out of helping others.”

Mr Edwards said he did not expect his fundraiser to “do so well” after raising over £1,200 in just five days.

“It’s an accomplishment just raising the funds really.

“(To those who donated), thank you for following my journey, I appreciate every penny.

“It’s (for) a good cause and I hope to inspire people to climb mountains themselves.”

He said the money raised will be donated directly to Sands, who helped his brother-in-law grieve and get counselling sessions as well as supporting those who have experienced a stillbirth.

To find out more about Mr Edwards fundraiser, go to: www.gofundme.com/amputee-attempts-to-climb-mount-snowdon

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