A top bodybuilder who was blasted with 27,000 volt of electricity when he was a child has told how the shocking experience has made him “more than a man”.
Shahid Iqbal, who was born in Salford, Manchester, nearly died when he was aged just 11 years old.
The now 50-year-old was climbing a tall electricity tower on the day of the tragic accident on Boxing Day in 1983 – and his younger brother watched the entire thing.
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As Shahid found a surface to sit on, it quickly became apparent that it was a generator and he was stuck by 27,000 volts of electricity which “melted my fingers”, he soberingly recalled.
The four-time bodybuilding champion said: “I felt pain you could never imagine.
“I was screaming and tried to grab my left wrist with my right hand but they both stuck together.
“It melted my fingers to my knuckles and burnt the flesh from my palms to my elbows.
“I just remember pain, smoke and flashes of blue.
“I remember falling upside down and I could see my younger brother helplessly watching me.
“I woke up a week later at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London – it was very painful."
After the gruesome shock Chad, as he is known to his friends, fell on the ground back-first and broke his seventh thoracic vertebra – rendering him a paraplegic.
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After a brief stay at the Great Ormond, Chad spent around 18 months at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – his life-saving surgery took more than six hours because the surgeons kept finding burnt flesh.
And things went from bad to worse.
“After the operation, I got gangrene in my right arm and doctors were going to amputate my whole arm,” he recalled.
"My dad pleaded with them to save my arm.”
The surgeons sewed his arms to his right side of the body and waited for three months, when skin started to grow. His arms were then removed.
Chad spent 18 months at the hospital.
He graduated in 1994 with an honours degree in graphic design from Manchester University, but turned to bodybuilding in 2015.
Since then he has become a competitive bodybuilder, winning an incredible four titles including two outright wins at national level.
"I went from a shy boy to a grown man,” he said.
Chad goes to the gym four times a week and does electric stimulation therapy daily for three to four hours.
He can lift up to 190kg without any difficulties.
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