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Disabled veteran treks to South Pole

Lou Rudd and Martin Hewitt
Lou Rudd and Martin Hewitt Image credit: bbc.co.uk

A military veteran who lost the use of his right arm in crossfire has reached the South Pole with a polar explorer 50 days after leaving his home city of Manchester.

Former paratrooper Martin Hewitt was shot in Afghanistan leaving him with a permanent disability.

The 41-year-old completed the 400 miles (644km) trek with British Army officer Lou Rudd on January 5.

Rudd, from Hereford, told the BBC: "For him to do this with one arm is just absolutely incredible."

It’s not the first time Hewitt has undertaken a gruelling challenge, in 2018 he became the first Brit to trek across Antarctica unaided.

Rudd, 52, said: "To try and do everything down here with one arm is so difficult. Just putting on a jacket - I had to help him get his jacket on, he can't do zips or tie his bootlaces."

The adventurous are now resting on the coastline of Antarctica before their next mission, climbing the continent’s highest peak, Mount Vinson on January 9.

On Facebook Hewitt admitted skiing with his right arm in a sling is "the one thing I struggle with more than anything else".

However, the trek was worth it, when he reached the South Pole battling 40-50mph winds and temperatures of -50C Hewitt said he was "gratitude, for the opportunity to come and do this".

During the 12 miles (19km) distance Hewitt covered every day he would have to regularly check his paralysed right arm, if the limb developed frostbite "he would not have felt it"

Martin Hewitt’s goal is to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents and reach the North Pole and South Pole.