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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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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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