Brave bodybuilder electrocuted with 27,000V as a child says it ‘made him more than a man’

An award-winning body builder says that being electrocuted with up to 27K Volts as a child, breaking his back and losing his arms made him ‘more than a man’.

Courageous Shahid Iqbal, 50, was just 11-years-old when he got the shock that nearly killed him and changed his life forever.

Age 11, Shahid was just starting secondary school when the accident happened on boxing day in 1983.

As his brother watched, Shahid climbed an electricity tower and sadly sat on the generator of the tower. Within moments Shahid was electrocuted by 27,000 volts.

He 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 Ormand Street Hospital in London. It was very painful.”

Shahid, also fondly known as Chad, had spent most of his early teen years fighting to survive his accident. He had to endure two years in hospital undergoing three surgeries.

Since recovering from the incident Chad gained a good education and achieved a university degree. He later went on to conquer the world of body-building, where he has won four titles and inspired many to follow his footsteps.

Shocks above 11,000 volts are most fatal, while 230,000 volts is the highest voltage electrocution that has ever been survived, according to the Guiness Book of the World Records.

After being electrocuted, Shahid fell on the ground and landed on his back which took the full force of the fall. He broke his T7 vertebra and made him a paraplegic. Being a paraplegic means being affected by a paralysis of the lower body.

After recovering at the Great Ormand Hospital, London, Chad spent 18 months at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire.

The surgery that saved his life took more than six hours because the surgeons kept finding burnt flesh.

He said: “At the Great Ormand Hospital, London, they couldn’t get a surgeon who was willing to amputate my arms.

“After the operation, I got gangrene in my right arm and doctors were going to amputate my whole arm. My dad pleaded with them to save my arm. It was a dark time for me. I needed care at all times.”

The surgeon sewed Shahid’s arms to the right side of his body and after three months skin started to grow on the arm. They then cut his arms off of his body.

Shahid spent 18 months at the hospital and needed assistance with doing anything.

He received lots of love and support from his family and was able to achieve an A+ in his GCSES. He later graduated in 1994 with a degree in graphic design.

He said: “People always looked down on me. They frowned upon my disability. It was hard because everyone would stare at me. They would laugh at me. They were disgusted at my sight or took pity on me.”

In 2015, Chad got custom made weights and after some attempts he started feeling stronger and healthier.

Since, he has been training and becoming a competitive bodybuilder, winning an incredible four titles.

He said: “I have been training hard for seven years now. I went from a shy boy to a grown man. I’m like Benjamin Button. The older I get, the younger I become.

“I was so proud to win my first show in Manchester in 2019. I reached 5th place in the PCA British finals in 2021 and got invited to PCA Universe which is in May 2023.”

“People are motivated by my positivity. They get inspired because I am always happy no matter what happens.”

Shahid goes swimming once a week and goes to the gym four times a week. He also does electric stimulation therapy daily for three to four hours.

He said: “I haven’t used my legs for 38 years but they are still healthy with muscle mass. I am no one special but I am blessed and grateful.”

He adds: “Disability shouldn’t be frowned upon, but embraced. We are people too.”