When Charlie Lewis was 19 years old, a snowboarding accident left him facing years of operations and surgery on his right leg.
A decade later, in 2014, he chose to have his lower leg amputated.
“I could walk and get around fine,” says Charlie, now 32, who lives in London, “But I couldn’t run or take part in competitive sport. Amputation would give me those opportunities, and by 2014 I knew the latest reconstructive surgery wasn’t working.
The pain had become much worse and I decided enough was enough. Having the operation was a huge weight off my shoulders. Amputation was a nice thing to wake up to!”
Since then, Charlie, who has a bionic prosthetic leg, has run marathons in countries including Afghanistan and North Korea, and completed several Iron Man races.
But he felt he needed a new challenge, so signed up for BBC documentary Without Limits: Vietnam.
In the two-part series, Charlie and five other disabled people – including Steve, a wheelchair user paralysed from the chest down after falling from a balcony, to Mary, born with dwarfism and struggling with depression – travel south through Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
They make the near-1,000 mile journey on motorbikes and in a 4×4 vehicle, staying with locals.
During the three-week trip, they become the first disabled group ever to enter a cave system near the border with neighbouring Laos.
Riding a motorbike along the winding mountain roads and chaotic streets of Vietnam in sometimes severe weather had its practical difficulties, but for Charlie the challenge wasn’t so much physical as psychological.
“I do things on my own,” he says. “I travel on my own a lot and push myself. So I had to learn to be more patient…