Mynyddygarreg dad is moving on from leg loss horror
AFTER losing a leg in an horrific workplace incident, Aneurin Gravell would have been forgiven for feeling down on his luck.
But one year on from the life-changing accident, the former Llanelli steelworks worker is not letting things get him down and his eyes are firmly fixed on the future.
On January 18 last year Mr Gravell, a Tata Steel warehouse team leader, was rushed to Morriston Hospital where surgeons were forced to amputate his leg following a collision with a forklift truck.
It was there that bone surgeon Paul Williams told Mr Gravell that he would have to lose his left leg, and that there were no guarantees his right leg would be saved.
For the active dad-of-two, who had been a coach and scrum-half at Mynyddygarreg RFC and used to go to the gym before work, the revelation was hard to take.
Reliving his experience, the 44-year-old said: "It was an emotional time and I broke down.
"But you see people on TV, like ex-soldiers, and when you hear what they have come through it just goes to show that you can do it too."
Mr Gravell, of Heol Ray Gravell, soon had a prosthetic leg fitted and spent time at the artificial limb and appliance centre at Morriston.
Doctors managed to save his right leg through a series of operations, including the transfer of muscle from his right shoulder to his calf.
It was then that he begun adjusting to life.
"It is about getting into routines," Mr Gravell said.
"I am still finding it difficult, but you adapt and find ways of living your life.
"It is difficult where I live — it is very hilly and I can't go out and about. I am virtually house bound, but it looks like we might be moving before long.
"There is a lot more planning when going out and things now — it is like a military operation."
But the keen Scarlets fan has not been short of a friend or two, and said everyone around him, including his wife Katherine and children Ellie, 12, and Carwyn, 8, had backed him during his recovery every step of the way.
He said: "I'm trying to be positive. You can't be too depressed, and when I am down I always get support from someone who encourages me to do things.
"I walk around with a stick in the house and I am trying to get myself back into normality or as normal as I can be.
"At the moment I am in the process of getting a car, which will give me a bit more independence.
"I didn't know that you could drive a manual car with a prosthetic leg so that was a nice bit of news before Christmas.
"I have got myself a treadmill in my house as well and I am trying to do a bit of walking on that at the moment.
"Things are not perfect, but it is all about time."
Mr Gravell added that the future may even see him return to his day job at the steelworks.
"At least that's the plan," he said. "They have been very supportive and they want me to go back to work, but it all depends on how my right leg recovers as my old job required quite a bit of walking.
"I don't know what I would be suited to if I go back, but I had a shock when they told me that there is a man in Port Talbot with a prosthetic leg working on a blast furnace."
Mr Gravell added that he was aiming to be more mobile and more independent this year.
And he offered his gratitude to everyone who has supported him over the past 12 months.
"I would like to say a big thank you for all the support of local residents, the Trostre management, Mynyddygarreg rugby club and also my wife, who has been my rock, coach and mentor," he said.