A former Welsh Ambulance Service paramedic has taken up Para-Archery and is competing within the Worshipful Firm of Fletchers’ Incapacity Championships in Lilleshall, this September.
Ian ‘Freddy’ Thomas, 45, from Llandudno, will probably be competing within the Compound Open Class for Para-Archery.
After a spinal situation left Ian with a excessive cervical spinal cord injury, he has fought his approach again and will probably be capturing in his wheelchair at an 80cm goal from 50 metres away.
“Throughout a shift between Christmas and New Yr, I seen a decreasing sensitivity in my fingers, together with a wierd stroll,” stated Ian.
“After numerous consultations and exams it was discovered that I used to be struggling with cervical spinal cord compression, brought on by a uncommon situation, Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament (OPLL.)”
Ian had surgical procedure in Might 2019, an operation that was meant to be an hour lengthy however was subsequently eight hours lengthy.
The operation was to cease development, so was non-curative, though the sensation began to come back again in my fingers and arm.
Ian stated: “I’m capable of stroll about ten to fifteen yards, however I look barely like Bambi on ice.
“I’ve in the end traded in my bike for a mobility scooter.”
Ian is a former paramedic, who began working in Llandudno station in 1999.
He joined the Belief’s Abergele coaching workforce in 2005, earlier than going again on the highway (Rhyl and Colwyn Bay station) and formally retiring in 2018.
“I used to outline myself because the job I did,” defined Ian.
“As a paramedic to have the ability to give individuals issues, after they want it, is a really highly effective factor.
“I’m an excellent believer in mindfulness however for a few years I used to be mourning what I misplaced.”
Fortunately for Ian, he discovered Colwyn Bowmen, a totally inclusive Goal Archery Membership in North Wales, affiliated to ArcheryGB.
“I used to play golf, though very badly and needed to construct up resilience in my shoulder to assist with neck stability,” he stated.
“I attended their starter session with my kids, and the membership instantly made me really feel welcome.”
Whereas competing in a neighborhood competitors, Ian was noticed by John Stubbs MBE, a former Paralympic gold medallist.
He stated: “John modified my bow arrange and I’ve gone from energy to energy.
“I need to compete for Wales and Workforce GB, however to try this, I’ve to compete, journey and obtain excessive scores in different competitions internationally, which may be very expensive.
“I need to present people who it’s not the top whenever you develop into disabled.”
Ian has an excellent assist system, together with his spouse Nicky and twins Erin and Will.
He stated: “I owe my life too many individuals, my household, associates and Colwyn Bowmen.
“Individuals are exceptional and might do something, particularly after they have assist.
“It’s not the longer term I deliberate for nevertheless it’s the one I’ve obtained, and I higher get on with it.”
You possibly can sponsor Ian and his journey through his JustGiving web page.
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