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Carmarthen man says he owes his life to his wife after his COVID experience

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Carmarthen man says he owes his life to his wife after his COVID experience / Dywed dyn o Gaerfyrddin ei fod yn ddyledus i’w wraig ar ôl ei brofiad COVID
A fit and healthy retired policeman from Carmarthen says his wife and hospital staff saved his life in the face of COVID-19.

Derek Edwards, 58, spent nine days unwell at home, when his wife, a specialist Parkinson’s nurse at Glangwili Hospital, became particularly concerned about his shallow breathing.

“My wife and I had both been unwell and as she is a nurse, she had a test and was confirmed as having COVID-19. On the ninth day, she was really worried about my breathing and we phoned the GP who referred me into the hospital,” said Derek. “By the time I got there I could hardly stand and my saturated oxygen was very low – it really crept up on me.

“I had various treatment over two weeks in hospital, including oxygen, IV paracetamol, steroids, antibiotics, chest x-rays and fluids. I also had to remain in the prone position, lying flat with chest down and back up, as much as possible and this, along with the cough and difficulty breathing, was physically very draining.”

Derek, who now works as an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer for the RNIB as well as a driver with the British Red Cross for hospital transport, said there were several things that kept him going through his experience of the disease.

“I am blessed to have my wife Laura, she saved my life,” he said. “I thought about my family, friends and neighbours who were all fantastic in sending messages of support and I focused on coming home and getting back to routine.”

“The care I had from all the different staff was absolutely fantastic.  From the doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and domestic staff – they don’t know me and yet they came to work at their risk to care for me and other patients. Without visitors, their friendly voices and care made such a difference each day and I can’t thank them enough. The physiotherapists and occupational therapists were marvellous and got me up and going again with support both in hospital and whilst I am now recovering at home.

“I must also mention the excellent food. I lost a lot of weight, which I could ill afford to do, but as I was recovering I looked forward each day to the food from the hospital. It was a huge help in building my strength and recovery.”

When considering his experience, Derek said his message to others would be: “Don’t under-estimate this disease. Don’t take it for granted that you won’t be affected, please look after yourselves and those around you. Anyone affected badly by COVID-19 can expect many weeks of recovery. I have been home two weeks and any exertion still leaves me breathless. It is improving but I still have the cough and I know it is going to take time and patience.”

Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive for Hywel Dda University Health Board Dr Philip Kloer said: “We are so pleased to hear that Mr Edwards is continuing his recovery at home. It is heartening to hear his praise for our dedicated staff from the different clinicians to all the necessary support services that keep our NHS doing what it does best, caring for our communities.

“For our patients, our communities and our NHS, we ask the public to keep following Government guidance in Wales, this is the single most important way to support the NHS.”

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Carmarthenshire towns win two prestigious awards

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has congratulated two local town councils for their success in the One Voice Wales Awards.

Pembrey and Burry Port Council won the Best Community Engagement category for the multi channels of communication it has set up which enables the community to participate in any decisions the council takes. It was also recognised for the shadow forums set up in both primary and secondary schools to ensure the younger generation have a voice.

Kidwelly Town Council won the Best Devolution of Service or Asset Project category for acquiring ownership of Parc Stephens play area from Carmarthenshire County Council in 2019 as part of the asset transfer process. Since then it has increased accessibility and inclusivity for a wide age range of children and includes a sensory garden.

Carmarthen Town Council was highly commended in the Best Annual Report category.

One Voice Wales is recognised by Welsh Government as the national representative body for Community and Town Councils in Wales, providing a wide range of services to our 634 member councils representing approximately 8000 councillors.

This year’s awards ceremony has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths who is responsible for liasing with town and community councils said: “I’d like to congratulate Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council and Kidwelly Town Council on winning the awards. It just goes to show the great work being done across Carmarthenshire and more importantly how we are working with the communities to meet their needs. I’d also like to congratulate Carmarthen Town Council on the commendation.”

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Woman arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply

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AN AMMANFORD woman has been arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers were on patrol in the Glanamman area on when they saw the woman driving a silver Peugeot away from them.

They were aware that the driver had no driver’s licence, and that she was suspected of being involved in supplying class A drugs in and around Ammanford.

Additional units made their way to her home, where the car was stopped. A search of the vehicle resulted in class A drugs being found, and she was arrested.

Further searches were carried out by the response team and dog unit. Around 16g of cocaine, some amphetamine, and some cannabis were found.

A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, possession and driving offences. The vehicle was also seized.

She has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Walters said: “This was a very swift response to information relayed by colleagues who recognised the woman and were aware that she should not have been driving.

“Ammanford Neighbourhood Policing Team, response teams and the dog unit worked closely together to achieve a positive outcome.”

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Play equipment gifted to children with disabilities

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CHILDREN with disabilities in Carmarthenshire have been gifted play equipment by the county council during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 26 children are already making use of new play materials and outdoor equipment which are helping to maintain their health and well-being during the lockdown.

Items such as garden swing seats, paddling pools, tablets, sensory black out tents, trampolines are making a huge difference to them whilst staying at home.

It comes after funding was set aside for those identified by the council’s social workers or disability intervention staff as needing extra support, and subject to an assessment.

Anna Martin, whose son Finlay has benefited from a garden swing said: “Finlay has spent many an hour calmly swinging in the garden. It has been great for him to spend time with the family outdoors. Fin is like a ‘toddler’ and enjoys a cwtch and a nap so the fact that this turns into a bed has been a big hit! It has certainly perked him up during lockdown.”

Funds are still available and anyone who is supported by the council’s disability service can ask their support worker for an assessment.

The council’s executive board member for children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies said: “The restrictions of the current lockdown have been a huge challenge for all families, but particularly for those with a child who is disabled or has autism. Our teams identified that for some families having extra play materials or outdoor play equipment could make a massive difference to children’s wellbeing. We established a process where staff from our specialist teams could assess if families would benefit from this type of help. We have been able to purchase and arrange delivery of a number of items so far and we’re delighted to see what a difference it has made.”

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