Credit photo : Image BBC Breakast
Martin Hibbert had challenged himself to climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, and he managed to do so on June 13, after five days and 72 kilometers of ascent, despite his paraplegia, despite his wheelchair, since that's how Martin Hibbert, 45, made the ascent, five years after the terrorist attack that killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena. , May 22, 2017. That evening, he was just out of ariana Grande's concert when he found himself five meters away from the terrorist who detonated his explosive belt. Twenty-two shrapnel pierced his body, the doctors took 14 hours to operate on him, after which he learned that he would never walk again. His spinal cord has been hit, his legs are no longer responding.
"But what I struggled with the most, he told the BBC, it's not my physical state, it's this nagging question: why did I survive? Why me? Everyone who was in the area of the explosion died, so why me? And then I told myself that I had to go beyond what I wanted to do and give meaning to my survival, a utility, and the usefulness is to help change mentalities about disability."
Martin Hibbert does not want to be reduced to his status as a victim of an attack, nor does he want him to be reduced to his paralysis. "Never disqualify a person because they are in a wheelchair, you can do much more than you think by being supported and encouraged, you can climb Kilimanjaro." So that's what he did. He flew to Tanzania after several months of preparation, raising funds, forming a team and recruiting porters, since the chair does not pass all the rocks.
Martin Hibbert did not go up alone but supported, encouraged, cheered by dozens of people, including the two nurses who took care of him in the hospital. "In the end, once I got to the top at 5,685 meters," he says, "it was such a relief that I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or collapse. "In reality, Martin Hibbert sang, and danced with joy"...
Source France Info - Marion Lagardère le 15.06.2022 Radio-France.