It’s December 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and a young woman is travelling to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, for major surgery on her spine.
Carys Ingram, 24, is making the journey from her home near Aberdare for the risky op. Covid restrictions are in place, she’s alone, and terrified. Not even her closest relatives can visit her.
A cyst placing increasing pressure on Cary’s spinal cord, causing numbness in her limbs, and greatly impacting her daily life, must be removed by surgeons.
Carys is in a dark place. There are many days she can’t get out of bed and dress herself without help. She’s lost her job and feeling lonely and desperate.
Fast forward to 2023 and Carys in a very different place after the surgery went well. She has a new job and is bursting with positively for the future.
“Looking back, I suffered from depression, anxiety, even suicidal thoughts, said Carys.
“I was at an age when you just want to be independent, and that got stripped away from me quickly. It’s been a massive journey from there to now.”
Now working for the FAW, Carys has a new lease of life making football accessible to all in communities across Wales as the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, and Integrity Executive.
Against all the odds she’s also in training for the Cardiff Half Marathon and will line up alongside a team of 29 supportive colleagues as one.