Karl, from Dudley, was a 19 year-old soldier serving in Iraq with the Staffordshire Regiment when his life changed forever on September 19 2005. Supporting an operation to rescue two British soldiers in a Basra police station, s riot broke out and his Warrior tank’s viewing sights were shattered by insurgents throwing bricks. It forced the crew to open their hatches to see outside and one of the mob then threw a Molotov cocktail, drenching Karl in burning petrol.
Karl suffered burns to 37% of his body. He was flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he began his recovery that included 50 operations over five years.
Following another major operation in 2010, he began running marathons as part of his recovery. This soon became much more than a hobby when he decided to dedicate the next few years of his life to fundraising for fellow wounded Servicemen and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He has since completed over 100 marathons and raised over £30,000.
“Help for Heroes then came into my life. They opened a door for me by offering to help with my recovery and mental support.” Karl went on to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for the Charity and also aims to complete 200 marathons before he turns 30.
As well as being a motivational speaker, Karl is a trained gym instructor and hopes to teach geography in the future: “I am so much more appreciative of my life. I take chances and want to experience more.
“I have truly found out the human body had almost no limits when being pushed. I hope that my challenge might just encourage others to take a step outside that comfort zone and see what they can achieve. Help for Heroes has helped me to establish new goals, pushing me mentally and physically. I would like to thank the generous public, who support H4H, for letting them continue to do the great work they do.”