Sarmad Tariq, Pakistan's quadriplegic motivational speaker who has been reaching out and inspiring people from his wheelchair, died today aged 38.
Tariq, a quadriplegic (paralysed shoulder down) for the past over 23 years, died at his Islamabad home due to multiple organ failure that led to a cardiac arrest, family sources said.
In a country plagued by senseless violence and crisis after crisis, his story inspired many in Pakistan.
Tariq's ailment, that confined him to a wheelchair, didn't stop his passion for life. He had emerged as a motivational speaker and was a favourite with corporates.
On March 26, 2004 he drove a distance of 1,847 km non-stop from Khyber to Karachi in his hand-controlled car.
He covered the distance in 33 hours and made a world record by being the first ever quadriplegic to cover the distance in such short time.
Tariq was also the first ever Pakistani wheelchair bound athlete to complete a full marathon distance of 42.192 kilometres in Standard Chartered Lahore Marathon on January 30, 2005.
He was the only wheelchair athlete to represent Pakistan and complete the New York City Marathon in November 2005.
Tariq is survived by his wife Zehra, his childhood neighbour and parents.