Harrogate burns survivor in Mount Everest trek

Matt Boyle (s)
Matt Boyle (s)
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A Harrogate-born burns survivor has taken on his biggest fundraising challenge yet by trekking all the way to the base camp of Mount Everest.

Matt Boyle, 39, a former St John Fisher High School student, was electrocuted while backpacking across Australia in 1994. He suffered 65 per cent burns, causing him to lose his ears, fingers and much of his hair.

He had to spend six months in Hospital.

Now Mr Boyle has climbed to altitudes of over 17,000 feet and raised £13,000 for Frenchay After Burns (FAB) Children’s Club.

Mr Boyle said: “I wanted to demonstrate that you can still overcome challenges. It went really well. It was tough but it was an amazing trip.”

Mr Boyle and the rest of the team slept in tents and took 11 days to reach the base camp and the team really suffered due to the altitude.

Mr Boyle said: “We all suffered with no sleep, no appetite, nose bleeds, headaches. I wanted to eat but just had no appetite. Sometimes you feel like you are suffocating and it makes you panic.”

Mr Boyle’s parents, Sean and Brenda Boyle, from Starbeck, were extremely glad to have Matt back safely.

Matt added: “It is dangerous and our guide told us that a helicopter once had to come and rescue people who were struggling.

My fiancée was chuffed to have me back. I think my mum kept thinking about the time I went to Australia and things went wrong.

“I was pleased to get home to a proper shower and toilet! But I do miss the mountains. It was an incredible experience. It is like another world there.

“The Harrogate people have been very supportive and have always been very generous.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported me.

“So many people have left comments and well-wishes on my Facebook page and it was emotional to read them.

“I have had complete strangers come on-board who have donated and supported me and it has all really meant a difference.”

Mr Boyle now lives in Bristol where he works as a communications coordinator for the Brandon Trust and for a number of years he has been involved with fundraising work for FAB, which supports the rehabilitation of young burns survivors.

Last year Mr Boyle won a Sunday Telegraph British Volunteer Award for his work for FAB.