Paralysed rugby player puts emotional story into print
A rugby player, paralysed from the neck down after an accident during what was intended to be his final club match, has put his experiences into print. Hooker Bryan Davies, 49, suffered a broken neck when captaining Bala against Nant Conwy in Gwynedd in 2007.
He hopes his book – Mewn Deg Eiliad (In Ten Seconds) will help anyone faced with a similar injury. “I am up and down – I have good days, and I have days when I am quite low,” said Mr Davies, known as Yogi.
Lefi Gruffudd, of publisher Y Lolfa, said it was the most emotional autobiography he had ever published. Mr Davies said he had not thought about writing a book, and when reading it back, it was still difficult to see from where “in my head” it all came.
“The only thing I can honestly say is that I hope that if someone else has the same experience as me, this helps them in some way to get through it,” he said. Mr Davies, a welder with Ifor Williams Trailers, spent months in hospital after suffering the injury on 21 April 2007.
He said he wanted to bring the emotional side of his experience into the book. He returned to Bala last year after his home was adapted with money from an appeal among friends and colleagues which raised thousands of pounds.
“It has been harder than I had thought it would be,” he added. The experience had also changed his outlook. “Before I would have laughed everything off, but now I consider everything a lot more.”
Also in the book is the experience of Mr Davies’ wife Su, and children Ilan and Teleri. “The book is split into three really, from the accident to today, Yogi’s childhood and then the children and me,” added Mrs Davies.
She said the book had helped the family as they had spent a lot of time reading about each others’ lives. “Although I have to say it does not feel like you are reading about yourself, it is like a fly-on-the-wall where you are watching someone else.
“After reading the book, though, I would not change a thing,” she added. Publisher Lefi Gruffudd said: “This is, without doubt, one of the most emotional, and the best, autobiography we have ever published.
“Yogi’s bravery, and that of his family, when faced with such a painful situation, has been amazing,” he added. Mr Gruffudd also paid tribute to the way writer Elfyn Pritchard hadcombined it together for the book, which will go on sale this week.