A 24-year-old will have to relearn how to walk and talk after finding out about his dad’s death and suffering a stroke.
Nicky Rees turned white and collapsed when he was told that his dad Steve Rees had been involved in a tragic bus crash.
The 47-year-old died after a collision between two buses at a yard in Gilfach Goch, Wales, on Friday.
South Wales Police are investigating the incident alongside the Health and Safety Executive, reports Wales Online.
Nicky’s father-in-law Chris Daly said: “My daughter said he just sort of went white and started to shake.
“She thought it was a seizure or a heart attack, or something, but he just collapsed to the floor.
“She called an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital.
“He went to the Royal Glamorgan in Llantrisant where it transpired he had had a stroke.”
Nicky lost his speech, has minimal mobility on his left side and needs months of physiotherapy as a result of the stroke.
His family have managed to get Nicky transferred to a special stroke unit in Merthyr Tydfil for this treatment to begin, with the help of MP Chris Bryant.
“There’s quite a long recovery road ahead and we understand the physiotherapist has seen him and said we’re probably talking months, not weeks,” Chris explained.
Nicky, who is self-employed in construction, is the main earner in his household.
Meanwhile his partner Shauni, 28, is currently on maternity leave with their three-month-old baby.
Chris explained how his daughter and three grandchildren have moved back into his home following Nicky’s hospital admission.
He added: “She doesn’t want to be on her own. So my little household is now eight of us and a dog.”
Chris described the effect of Steve’s passing paired with Nicky’s stroke as “far-reaching”, with the circumstances rippling out and affecting the family in many ways.
In order to help Nicky and his family through the next few months, a fundraiser has been set up to support them.
“Obviously Nicky is going to be in hospital some time, then going through rehabilitation when he comes home, so he’s not going to be able to work for some time.
“I’d love to be able to support him myself but with all the will in the world I can’t do that alone.
“So we’re just trying to make sure that bills are paid and things for however long it takes to get Nicky back in work, if he ever does.
“We won’t know obviously until we’re a bit further down the line.”
The family are optimistic about Nicky’s recovery, given his young age, however they’re aware he won’t be back to normal overnight.
Support from family, friends, and the wider valley community has so far been “amazing” with people coming together to supply Nicky with clothes for the hospital, food for the family, and other variations of support.
A gofundme page has also been set up and has so far raised £3,500, smashing its £1,000 target to support the family through this difficult time.
“I’m starting to get my head around the circumstances, but it’s people’s generosity that makes me emotional,” Chris added.