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Survivor of burns treks to Everest

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

By IAN ONIONS

Matt Boyle suffered severe burns when he was 20 years old

Matt Boyle suffered severe burns when he was 20 years old

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wdnews@b-nm.co.uk

Matt Boyle once faced death because of severe burns, which left him scarred for life. Now he has been to Everest base camp, and hopes his example can inspire others.

A night out with his mates in Australia turned into an appalling accident for the Bristol charity worker. He climbed a bridge while larking about after a few drinks – only to brush against two 25,000-volt electricity cables.

Mr Boyle, who was 20 at the time, suffered 65 per cent burns which nearly killed him.

Luckily, a police officer was nearby and tended to him until help arrived.

Mr Boyle said: "He thought we were throwing meat on to the cables which was causing a burning smell."

Mr Boyle, who is now 39, lost some of his fingers and is scarred for life from the waist upwards as a result of the terrible accident which saw him hospitalised for months.

But he has recently returned from an expedition to the base camp at Mount Everest to prove that even the toughest challenges can be overcome.

He has also raised more than £12,000 for the Frenchay After Burns Children's Club – FAB Club – which relies on donations to keep going.

Matt trained for months so he could take part in the trek which saw him reach so far above sea level that he suffered from altitude sickness.

He said: "It is very difficult to sleep because it is so cold. So the lack of sleep, the constant nose bleeds and the difficulty in breathing makes it quite a challenge. It is more difficult to breathe at night because of the cold which reached -25C.

"We were sleeping in tents so it did feel really, really cold."

The base camp is 5,350m above sea level. But the team of eight did manage to climb the nearby summit of Kala Patthar, which stands at 5,500m.

Mr Boyle said: "I had a massive feeling of elation when I reached base camp because I had put so much effort into it and had achieved what I had set out to do so many months before.

"After working as a volunteer for FAB Club forseven years, I thought it was about time to do something to raise some funds – but I wanted to do something on a big scale, something that would put me in a challenging position.

"I also wanted to show children who have suffered burn injuries that challenges can be overcome. Even when we suffer bad accidents, life is still for living."

Mr Boyle – who works for the Brandon Trust, a charity which helps adults with learning difficulties – set out with the hope of raising £10,000 for FAB Club but has already easily surpassed that target.

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