S4C presenter opens up about his struggle with MS
A new documentary, described as poignant and honest, follows the personal journey of a Welsh TV presenter following his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Dafydd Wyn – or Daf Wyn as he’s known – has become a familiar face to S4C viewers and is a regular on the Prynhawn Da and Heno sofa and as well as reporting on stories all over Wales.
In April 2021, Dafydd’s world turned upside down, when after months of feeling lightheaded from time to time, he lost his speech live on air while presenting Prynhawn Da.
As the credits ran and he pulled off his mic, he knew things weren’t “quite right”.
The documentary, Drych: Byw gyda MS, follows Dafydd as he receives his diagnosis a month after that event in the Prynhawn Da studio.
It examines how he responds to the shock, the adjustment, and his thoughts about facing the future as well as sharing the stories of others living with MS.
With 1 in 500 people in the UK with Multiple Sclerosis, many have heard of the illness, but few people really understand it.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
It’s a lifelong disease that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.
As a fit 30-year-old man who had run several half marathons and walked to the foot of the world’s highest mountain, the diagnosis came as a complete blow.
“A day after I had the MRI scan,” says Dafydd, “I saw Professor Neil Robertson from the hospital’s Neurology department, and he said that we were looking at an early diagnosis of MS. I went to quite a dark place.
“I was alone, sitting on this bed at the hospital; my thoughts were going everywhere, and the first thing I needed to do was tell my partner, Catrin. I reached for the phone…I couldn’t speak.”
In the early days of his diagnosis Dafydd decided to record his journey, to help some of the one per cent of the population who also live with the disease.
Dafydd decided to go for the Alemtuzumab treatment, which can be gruelling for the body as it breaks down the immune system and restarts it, and he records the long and challenging treatment process from his bed in the hospital.
Supporting him throughout his ordeal is his partner, Catrin, who found that as well as hearing the diagnosis, one of the most challenging times for both of them was Dafydd’s recent bout of vertigo.
Catrin says: “He was so sick, I didn’t know if he was going to stop. And he couldn’t do things like walk to the toilet.
“But things like that bring you together, and you realise you have each other. You’re going to help one another through it, and that has definitely strengthened our relationship more than anything.”
Dafydd says: “I will live this condition for the rest of my life. And I’ll have to deal with the fact that people think there’s nothing wrong with me – I’ll probably be lucky, and the symptoms won’t get worse, but obviously things aren’t going to be right.
“I have it. There’s no getting better, but it’s possible it won’t get any worse; that’s what I need to keep in mind.”
Drych: Byw gyda MS airs on Tuesday 5 July 9.00, on S4C, S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms with English and Welsh subtitles available
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