An IT Support Officer at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was told he would never fully recover after suffering a brain haemorrhage has been crowned Apprentice of the Year.
Daf came out on top in the management category at this year’s Apprenticeship Award Ceremony held by Grŵp Llandrillo Menai to recognise talented apprentices for their outstanding contribution in the workplace and beyond.
Dafydd, known as Daf, says he feels extremely lucky to be where he is today following a tough 15 years recovery following his brain haemorrhage in November 2000.
He said: “When I suffered a colossal brain haemorrhage and whilst in a coma, the doctors told my wife and family there was no hope of recovery due to the severity of the bleed.
“The doctors even asked my wife to consider organ donation, but she never gave up on me and stood by me the whole way through.
“Luckily I managed to pull through, although when I woke up I didn’t recognise my own family, I had to learn how to talk, eat, walk and even use the toilet all over again.”
Daf discovered the bleed was caused by an Arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting the arteries and veins, which disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation.
Sadly, the impact of the AWM still remains with Daf as he continues to have problems with swallowing, his balance and diplopia (double vision).
Following a long period of recovery Daf enrolled at LlandrilloMenai and began 16 months of studying with Arfon Dwyfor Training.
“I always intended to get back to work, I didn’t want to stay at home and do nothing. I am extremely grateful for the apprenticeship with Arfon Dwyfor Training, it helped me qualify as a manager within the health service that saved my life and I am now in full time employment within the IT department.
“I also want to say a huge thanks to my tutor Doreen for believing in me and supporting me and was there when I needed her advice.
“I am so grateful to the Health Board for providing me with this opportunity, before working in IT I also worked in the Covid Testing Unit, and before that it was within the Palliative Care team in the community.
“I feel incredibly lucky and extremely proud of what I have achieved after everything that happened. What I went through shows that you should never give up and keep fighting all the way,” added Daf.