A MYNYDDYGARREG rugby player who was airlifted to hospital after a clash of heads with a teammate has spoken of his lucky escape.
Tom Bateman of Parc y Garreg, turned out for Mynyddygarreg RFC against Llansawel on Saturday, where he was knocked unconscious after the clash with fellow player Andrew Thorn just before half time.
The 26-year-old lay unconscious on the pitch for 15 minutes before the an air ambulance arrived on the scene at 3.40pm to treat him for head injuries and fly him to Glangwili Hospital for further attention.
Recalling the incident Mr Bateman said: "I remember going off to play rugby, but after that I just remember coming around in hospital, it is all a bit surreal.
"Luckily there was no internal damage, I just escaped with a really painful head and neck."
Mr Bateman has a bone- anchored hearing aid due to deafness in his left ear and an implant in his skull.
He believes he has this to thank for stopping his injuries from being more serious and preventing a fracture of his skull.
"Obviously it was a bit of a wake up call to see that so many people care," said Mr Bateman.
"My family were really concerned — like you would be with anything like that.
"Until they were there by my side they did not know what had happened.
"I am soon to be a father with my wife, Leanne due to give birth in January, so that was a further worry, but thankfully it was not as bad as it could have been."
Mr Bateman, who now plans to retire from rugby, commended the Wales Ambulance Service for their swift response.
He said: "They were amazing, I can't thank them enough. Both clubs and the supporters also could not have done anything more."
Chairman of Mynydd- ygarreg rugby club Emyr Jones said it was a relief for everyone at the club that their player was on the road to recovery.
He said: "It is a big relief to know that he is back home and well."