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10K run as thank you for kidney transplant

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Rhys & Dr Jim Dart: ‘Incredible and heart-warming’

UWTSD STUDENTS’ Union Chief Executive Rhys Dart is running in this year’s Cardiff 10K in aid of leading Welsh charity Kidney Wales, which has long been providing his family with much needed support following his father’s kidney transplant 25 years ago.

In the early 1990s, his father, Dr Jim Dart, then 42 and head of sixth form at Radyr Comprehensive School in Cardiff, was given the news that his kidneys were beginning to deteriorate.

Unfortunately, the reason behind the deterioration was unexplained but after a year, doctors advised him that he should undertake dialysis treatment, in order to keep his kidneys functioning to acceptable levels.

As a young boy, Rhys watched his father manage his illness, travelling back and forth three times each week from their home in Swansea to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he received his treatment. Even as a child, Rhys noticed his father’s health deteriorate and that his dialysis treatment was taking a toll on family life.

After months of travelling back and forth to hospital, the Dart family had their study converted into a room specifically equipped with the necessary dialysis equipment needed so that Jim could begin haemo dialysis treatment at home. Jim self-administered his dialysis each evening once Rhys had gone to sleep, as the family continued their wait for a kidney donor.

Rhys said: “At the age of 11, I remember being in school and my teacher pulled me from a lesson to tell me that my mother was on the phone. I remember her telling me that my father had been admitted to hospital as a kidney had become available for him. He had the transplant that same day. It was so surreal.”

Jim received his kidney transplant at the University Hospital of Wales, although sadly Jim’s body almost immediately began to reject the new organ.

The doctors instantly gave Jim immunosuppressive medications in order to help prevent his body rejecting the kidney. After no signs of improvement, doctors decided that if within two weeks there was no improvement in Jim’s condition, they would have to accept the donation as a failure.

The Dart family almost came to terms with the fact that the kidney transplant was not a success, until unexpectedly Jim’s blood levels began to improve and his body stopped attacking his new kidney. It has now been 25 years since his transplant and against all odds, Jim’s kidney is still functioning to maximum capacity. A recent check-up has posted the best results Jim has ever seen and at the age of 69, he feels very fit and healthy.

Over the years, the Dart family have experienced a huge amount of support from leading Welsh charity Kidney Wales, including advice on healthy lifestyle changes, and guidance on travel insurance. And so this year, Rhys is showing his support for the charity that has helped his father for so many decades by taking part in the Cardiff 10K, the road race that the charity organises every year, and raising funds for the cause that remains so close to his family’s lives.

“I am really looking forward to running in this year’s Cardiff 10K on September 11 and showing my support for the Kidney Wales Foundation,” said 36 year-old Rhys. “Growing up and watching my father’s health deteriorate to the stage where he was so tired he couldn’t leave the house was heart-breaking, but once he had has his transplant and his body accepted the new organ, it was like he had been given a new lease of life. It was really incredible to see, and I can’t wait to give something back to the charity that supports so many people just like my father.”

Roy Thomas, Chief Executive of Kidney Wales, said: “It’s incredible and so heart-warming to hear stories like Jim’s where an organ donation has completely transformed a person’s life. It’s the kind of outcome thousands of people across Wales experiencing kidney disease can only dream of.

“At Kidney Wales, the Cardiff 10K is the cornerstone of our fundraising activities and the monies raised via this event help us to support patients and families who struggle every day with the hardships of kidney failure. I wish everyone racing this year the best of luck.”

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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