Father of the month, August 2017 is Elfed Williams from Trefor, a Dad that’s set himself one mighty challenge, to walk up and down Snowdon 52 times before the end of the year! Why? This is his story.
On Friday the 2nd of August, 2013, Tomos, Elfed’s 21-year-old son was loading some pipes onto his lorry in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Suddenly, one of the pipes fell on top of him and he was stuck. A local man tried to help him, but Tomos swallowed his tongue and the situation became very serious. Fortunately, the Wales Air Ambulance arrived at the scene in time to fly him to the hospital in Bangor.
Elfed was at home with his family when two policemen knocked on the door, they explained that Tomos was seriously injured and had been flown to hospital. Elfed drove staright over to Bangor with his wife and daughter, worried about what they would see when they arrived.
After walking into the ward, Elfed saw his son Tomos, laying on the bed connected to pipes and his head swollen.
“The doctor’s words were – There’s nothing we can do for him. We thought this was the end”
Fortunately, a young doctor came into the ward and said;
“Let’s give him a chance”– I will never forget those words”.
Within no time, Tomos was back in the Air Ambulance and was flown to Stafford University Hospital in Stoke.
“I remember driving on the A55 near Abergele and seeing the Air Ambulance above us, that was hard. Tomos was in the hospital within half an hour and we were still an hour and a half away in the car. The hospital called us as we were travelling, to ask for our permission to operate on him straight away. They needed to cut his skull to let the blood clots out”
When Elfed and the family arrived at the hospital, the operation was almost complete. Nobody knew how Tomos would react, some patients survived, other didn’t. Some could never walk or talk…That first night in the flat nearby, was an extremely long night for Elfed and the family.
At 6am the following morning, Elfed was back in the ward with his son;
“Tomos was lying there asleep and still under anaesthetic. I remember saying helo to him and I couldn’t believe my eyes when he raised his thumb up at me! Tomos was home within a week! It’s a complete miracle and this is all thanks to the Wales Air Ambulance, without it, Tomos wouldn’t have arrived in Bangor or Stoke so quickly and he wouldn’t be here with us today”
Apart from losing his driving licence for a few years and becoming forgetful every now and again, Tomos is completely fine. He’s now back behind the wheel and working as a lorry driver for the Irish firm, Dixons, travelling the world, but back home for the Eisteddfod week!
Elfed was keen to raise money to thank the Wales Air Ambulance, but how? Siting in the Black Boy Pub in Caernarfon with his friend, the singer Rhys Meirion, Elfed mentioned his desire to fundraise for the charity;
“It’s Rhys Meirion’s fault that I set myself this challenge; ‘Challege 52’, to walk up and down Snowdon 52 times this year – I did walk Snowdon every now and again but Rhys came up with the idea to walk up and every single week!”
On the 2nd of January, Elfed began his challenge and he hopes to complete it by mid December! Sometimes he walks alone, but he’s fortunate enough to have company most of the time;
“I work as a warden at the Glynllifon College campus and I was joined by a crew of students a few weeks ago. I’ve had experienced walkers, actors and friends joining me along the way and I’m so grateful for everyone’s support”
Elfed’s goal is to raise £5,000 by December, he’s raised just over £3,000 so far;
“The Wales Air Ambulance is vital, especially in rural communities. Before Tomos had his accident, I didn’t really appreciate the importance of what they do, but events like this change everything. I want to do as much as I can to support them, to thank them for saving my son’s life and to give other families the same opportunity”
If you would like to help Elfed reach his target of £5,000 visit his Justgiving page….….http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Elfed-Williams1
I’m sure you will agree that Elfed fully deserves to be our Dad of the Month for August 2017. Thank you Elfed for sharing your story with us and who knows, we might join you before the end of the year!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.