Glyn Hayes: Inspirational councillor on his journey back from horrific accident
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 21 May 2018
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A borough councillor who was left wheelchair-bound following a motorbike accident has said he is “overjoyed” to be able to get his teeth fully into council work again.
Glyn Hayes, who represents Hatfield Central, broke his back in a horrific crash last August while driving along the A414 between Hatfield and Hertsmere.
After spending over five months in hospital, the Labour councillor was discharged with a diagnosis of permanent paralysis in his lower body.
“Every day is a struggle,” he told the WHT. “My whole life revolves around trying to do things I did before but it takes twice as long. Nothing is easy.”
However, the father-of-three, who spent seven years serving as a bomb disposal expert, said that despite a tough adaptation period he is determined to get his life back on track.
He said: “When I first left hospital I couldn’t see any way of returning to work but now I actually want to work and am looking forward to trying to turn my life around.”
The Labour representative said that as soon as he was discharged he was keen to get back into council work, and managed to attend and contribute to meetings within weeks.
He added that in terms of his council workload, he is now confident he has returned to where he was before the accident – and encouraged anyone with local issues to get in touch.
“I’m overjoyed at that,” Glyn said. “To be able to help people on a personal level and share the views of people on a borough-wide level is something I’m really passionate about.”
A key issue he will target is the Local Plan, which he said will be “challenging” amid the government’s fresh request to increase the number of homes.
“I look forward to debating on behalf of residents across the borough and getting their voices heard,” he added.
Following the Herculean show of will power, Glyn thanked his family and the NHS staff for their care, which he described as “the best I’ve ever experienced”, as well as several other groups.
“Upon discharge I started rebuilding my life and thanks has to go to the Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club for Hatfield and WGC in their assistance to me,” he said.
“As a veteran myself they contacted me and rallied around to get me active and reintegrated into society.
“While I’ve been adjusting they have helped with everything from everyday living to socialising and I am very grateful for all of this.”
He added: “There are too many people out there for me to thank individually for their continued help and support but I will say that a special thanks must go to my family and friends as without them my recovery could have been very different.”
Referring back to the accident, Glyn continued: “The guy that actually found me genuinely saved my life because he was the one that stopped and came forward to the police.
“It took him a bit of time to find me but without him I would not wouldn’t be here today – I genuinely owe my life to that person.”
A big part of Glyn’s comeback has involved sport, which included competing in the National Spinal Games, where he scooped a gold medal.
“Sport is a big part of wheelchair life as it encourages socialising with others in a similar situation, and I am happy to say that there is currently some negotiation to bring wheelchair rugby to Hatfield in the very near future,” Glyn added.
Labour leader Kieran Thorpe paid tribute to how Glyn has rallied following the accident, adding the council needs people like him.
He said: “The way that Glyn has coped with what has happened to him has been an inspirational display of strength and determination.
“It speaks volumes about Glyn’s character that so soon after his accident, he is back working hard to help others in our community.
“The council needs people like Glyn Hayes, and I am very grateful to all those who have brought him back to us so quickly.”
Following the accident councillors from all sides came together to give their best wishes to Glyn.
Tory Duncan Bell said he was “very well-admired on all sides”, while Lib Dem leader Malcolm Cowan added: “I think everybody likes Glyn. He works hard, is very genuine, and we wish him the very best.”
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