Plaid Cymru candidate on crutches after leafleting injury
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
A candidate in the council elections has had to suspend canvassing after rupturing his Achilles tendon while delivering leaflets.
Matthew Ward was out and about in Swansea’s Fairwood ward when he tripped backwards off a doorstep, heard a snap and fell to the ground.
“I could not get up,” he said. “I thought I had broken my ankle.”
Struggling on the ground, he called out to a fellow Plaid Cymru party member who was delivering a leaflet to the property next door at the time.
Mr Ward’s colleague, Michael Williams, who is Plaid’s deputy chairman for Gower, then drove him to Morriston Hospital’s emergency department.
“When I first went in, it was announced there was a 15-hour wait,” said Mr Ward, aged 36. “Some people had been there from six or seven o’clock the evening before. It was really full.”
He said he saw a triage nurse after around an hour and a half to two hours, who gave him paracetamol to help with the pain.
After a further hour Mr Ward said he was seen by a doctor in the hospital’s minor injury unit and sent for an X-ray, which confirmed nothing had broken. It was then established that his right Achilles had no resistance.
“Within around four hours I was in and out – I was really, really fortunate,” said Mr Ward, of Upper Killay. “The doctors and nurses are under a lot of pressure – I’m really appreciative of what they’re doing. It’s frustrating for them and obviously frustrating for patients.”
Mr Ward said his right leg would be in a special support boot for up to three months, but that he expected to go back to work early next month to Gower College Swansea, where he is a learning support assistant.
He said the forthcoming council elections, which take place on May 5, was his first involvement in politics. He said he felt he was building momentum prior to last Sunday’s accident.
“I’m really passionate about where I live,” he said.
Listening to people in Fairwood and trying to get them a fair share of investment would, he said, be his priorities if elected.
“In Upper Killay we’ve got no amenities, no shops, and the local bus service is so hit and miss,” he said. “We are the gateway to Gower here.”
Mr Ward is up against three other candidates for the Fairwood councillor position: Phil Ebden, of the Liberal Democrats, Labour’s Jane Harris, and Paxton Hood-Williams, of the Conservatives.
Voters in Swansea will choose 75 councillors on May 5 to represent the city and county for the next five years.
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