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Featured Image Credit: Media Wales
A man was left paralysed after experiencing what he believed was a simple case of pins and needles whilst watching TV in bed.
Darren Roberts decided to run a bath in the hopes the pain would subside after thinking it was just a trapped nerve but, before long, his toes, legs, hips, arms and torso were all numb.
Within 20 minutes, Darren was only able to move his head.
"During all of this my parents had called for an ambulance, and when they arrived they basically had to remove me from the bath as I was basically dead from the neck down," said Darren, 39, recalling the terrifying events of July 2019.
He was taken to the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil where an MRI scan was carried out.
"I had an inkling it was more serious than I thought, although I was still awake and breathing when the ambulance arrived. When I had the MRI I was completely immobile," he said.
Darren was quickly moved to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where he was put in an induced coma.
"My family were told to prepare for the worst," admitted Darren, who was previously a manager of a tool hire company.
"Fortunately, I did start responding to treatment and I was brought out of an induced coma after four weeks."
It was at this point that Darren started to realise the true extent of his condition - that the damage to his spinal cord was irreversible.
"I knew my life was never going to be the same again. I didn't know what to think because I was such an independent person. It was a massive shock to my system to now be in a position where I had to ask for everything - even something as little as a sip of water."
"As doctors didn't know what had caused my condition, they couldn't tell me if I would make any recovery."
While Darren has gained some movement in his arms but zero function, he is now classed as disabled tetraplegic which means he needs help with almost all aspects of his life.
In September 2019, it was confirmed his spine problem would be life-changing and he has remained under the care of Rookwood Hospital in Llandaff, Cardiff, ever since.
"At this point my mood did become really low but I did try my best to hide it," he admitted.
Darren continued: "Nothing can prepare you for the news that you'll never walk again, but to be told this along with the fact I'd never be able to use my hands again was devastating."
Due to his condition, Darren cannot return to his old home with his family and requires a new home with 24-hour care.
A GoFundMe campaign has now been launched in a bid to buy him specialist equipment for the house and give him "’the best opportunity to live his life to the fullest without the worry’. You can donate to Darren's fundraiser here.