'No leg, no excuse': Amputee climbing one of UK's highest mountains on crutches

"No leg, no excuse" - those are the words which will be on Matt Edwards' T-shirt when he climbs the highest mountain in Wales this weekend.

The amputee will scale Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) with his friend Jack Sharpe on Saturday, and wants to show people that you can achieve success in the face of adversity.

Mr Edwards, 24, faces the added challenge of doing the hike on crutches after he lost his left leg below the knee five years ago.

After a traffic collision while travelling on his motorbike, Mr Edwards was put in an induced coma before waking up on Christmas Eve without his left leg at the age of 19.

He said that it was "physically and mentally hard" to process and due to a lack of support at the time, he turned to alcohol and drugs before spending a few weeks in rehab in early 2019.

"At one point, I was drinking every day for about six months and became addicted to cocaine and that's when I got sectioned in mid-February 2019 for drug-induced psychosis," Mr Edwards said.

"Even before that, I was homeless and was just being a scrounger."

After that, Mr Edwards turned his life around with a newly-discovered love of keeping fit and helping others.

He added: "I created a charity called Boxing for the Brain before the pandemic and I help people who have low self-esteem, no confidence.

"When I got out of rehab they told me I needed a hobby to keep my mind away from drugs and alcohol and when I found boxing and punched the bag for the first time, it was an instant stress reliever.

"I knew instantly that I could help a lot of people through this and have helped a lot of people get clean, sober and even housed and even just act as a shoulder to cry on.

"I believe God gave me the accident to get me to change my life around."

'Push to the top'

Mr Edwards says that he always wanted to climb Snowdon and he aims to complete the hike in under six hours.

He will be raising money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS).

He said: "Last year, my brother-in-law Callum went through a stillbirth and it broke him dramatically - it really, really affected him.

"That's why I chose SANDS to raise money for - it is in remembrance of Vienna Bowden, his baby girl.

"I also wanted the challenge to have a charity aspect because when you get half way and you feel like giving up - your arms are dead and your ankles are hurting, you're soaking wet and slipping and sliding - that gives you the push to the top.

"I have an abscess on my leg at the moment so cannot use my prosthetic leg, so I will crutch myself all the way to the summit."

The support Mr Edwards has received in donations and messages has given him more motivation ahead of the hike.

"It's nice to know that people out there are following my journey," he said.

"I also want to show that I don't have a disability, I have a different ability."