A Paralympian who lost his leg in a cycling accident as a child is trying to trace the man who knocked him down.
Mark Williams, 47, from Denbighshire has launched a campaign on Facebook to find the driver – so he can thank him for transforming his life.
Mark was aged 10 when he was cycling home from school on the day Prince William was born – June 21st 1982 – when he was involved in a road traffic accident in Pen y Maes, Rhyl, North Wales. He lost his leg as a result of the accident.
“This changed my life – for the better. I often say it was the best day of my life.
“The accident changed my attitude and pushed me to do better. It transformed me from a shy 10-year-old boy, who couldn’t swim, into a super-confident athlete winning medals in the pool.
“I am trying to find the driver of the car involved to shake his hand and let him know of all the amazing things I have done as a result of the accident.
“This has including competing and winning medals at The Paralympics and World Championship in swimming, having an amazing career and now starting a business making prosthetic leg covers which has the potential to help people all over the world.
“I am so proud of everything I have done and speak publicly about it. None of it would have happened without the accident. I’m hoping I can find the man and shake his hand. It would help me, but more it’s to help him.”
Mark says the driver of the car was middle aged and may have lived in the area.
Anyone with any information should contact him via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mark.o.williams2
Mark’s company LIMB-art designs and manufactures prosthetic leg covers. He is on a mission to give prosthetic legs a better shape – traditionally offered on the NHS and which resemble ‘poles’ – as well as allowing the wearer to express their personality.
As well as new prosthetic leg covers lit with flashing LED lights, his bespoke designs featuring everything from the Welsh flag to Remembrance Day covers.
The company was one of five finalists of the Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs, hosted by EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The award rewards those with disabilities who have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and business ability in the face of significant barriers.
Mark, was a medallist at the Seoul Paralympics in 1988, added:
“Although prostheses have come on in leaps and bounds functionally, how they look has generally been overlooked.
“LIMB-art aims to change this. Our covers are a completely customisable accessory, lightweight and easy to fit and they are suitable for all users of above and below knee prostheses.
“Our covers not only give the wearer a full leg shape and restore balance to their silhouette, they also boost their confidence and allow them to show their personality because we offer a whole range of colours and designs.
“When you wear a cool looking cover, it breaks down barriers and cuts out awkward stares. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been stopped in the street and been told my leg looks amazing.
“We don’t want prosthetic wearers to hide away or be self-conscious. We want to be known worldwide for making the coolest prosthetic leg covers so people who wear them feel they can stand out and stand proud.”
There are more than 500 new amputees each month in the UK and over 30 million amputees globally.