RECOVERING amateur Rugby League star Ryan Glynn has spoken of how he thought he might never leave his hospital bed.
The 25-year-old Shaw Cross Sharks full-back suffered a horrific spinal injury in what witnesses have described as a freak accident in a National Conference League game in March.
Ryan, of Russell Street, Dewsbury, broke and dislocated two vertebrae and there were fears he would be paralysed.
The former Bradford Bulls academy graduate had emergency surgery at a Sheffield hospital.
Though lengthy operations stabilised his condition, a stroke left him with paralysis in his left arm and leg.
But the support of his family and girlfriend Amy Dickinson proved vital in the trainee electrician’s startling recovery. And after almost two months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy, Ryan defied doctors’ expectations by leaving the specialist spinal unit on foot last Thursday.
“There were days when I was very down,” he told me, “but ongoing support gave me the determination to keep going.
“It has been a difficult period but my family has been with me every step of the way.
“They have been at my bedside for over seven weeks and they have taken time off work.
“They have done everything for me.
“Leaving hospital felt awesome. At times I did not think the day would ever come. But I set myself the challenge of walking out of the place and I did it.
“I left hospital on the Thursday but Monday of that week was the first time I’d stood since the accident. Although told he will never play again, Ryan is adamant he can make a full recovery before one day returning to the sport in another capacity.
“I am pretty unhappy about not being able to play again,” he added, “but my health has to come first.
“There are other opportunities in the sport which I can pursue and hopefully I will be able to take up a coaching role at some stage.
“I intend to make a full recovery and I am focused on that, but it is a waiting game for me now.
“Currently, I have partial movement. I can clench a fist but I cannot easily unclench it. I can’t move my shoulders or my left foot.
“In time that should get better, but I have had to learn to walk all over again and there are plenty of other challenges ahead.”
Meanwhile, fundraising efforts for Ryan are continuing. Only a handful of tickets remain ahead for next month’s Battle in Batle boxing tournament featuring local RL players.
Close to 2,000 people are expected for the event at Batley’s Frontier on June 16 (3pm) and tickets (£30, seated and £20, standing) are available from organiser Mick Turner on 07973 359548.
Added Ryan: “The Rugby League family has been right behind me from the start – everyone from here to the other side of the world. It has been overwhelming.”