A BODYGUARD has completed his biggest challenge since surviving an attack from a suicide bomber.
David De Souza, aged 36, suffered a broken back and a brain haemorrhage after intercepting a suicide bomber in a 4x4 vehicle while working for a private security company Aegis in Tikrit, Iraq, on December 20, 2007.
His injuries have left him unable to work due to memory problems.
He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and catastrophic thinking, meaning he often imagines the worstcase scenario in situations.
Despite being unable to run a mile last year, Mr De Souza, a married father of two sons, completed the gruelling Tough Mudder 12-mile obstacle course in Malpas, Cheshire, in memory of his niece, Maddie Rose Gooch, in three hours and 30 minutes.
Maddie Rose, the daughter of Lee and Sarah Gooch, from Stalybridge, died aged just 18 days old on December 15 last year in Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, of congenital heart disease and other heart defects.
Mr De Souza, of Ashwood, Stoneclough, has raised nearly £5,000 for Alder Hey Hospital’s appeal to fund research and buy equipment.
He said: “It was difficult but the distance didn’t really come into it because you were focusing on the obstacles. If I hadn’t been seeing a psychologist it would have been a lot harder. She told me to look around and realise people are having fun.”
He got emotional at the final obstacle, an electric shock task, as he saw Mrs Gooch and the reason behind the challenge and the money raised hit home.
“When I finished I was on a bit of an adrenalin high. We were among the last to leave. I am looking to do something similar again now,” he added.
Mr De Souza will celebrate his achievement with his wife, Lisa, aged 35, and family on what would have been Maddie Rose’s first birthday.
To donate visit just giving.com/David-De-Souza