In 2017, two days after he turned 22, Dylan Baines was the victim of a very serious car accident. When he opened his eyes again, on a hospital bed, he was completely paralyzed. The doctor told him, bluntly, that it was unlikely he would walk again.
Rehabilitation was slow (“two years locked up at home” he says), supported by family and closest friends at every stage.
Dylan Baines, story
Dylan relates: “For the first six weeks I was basically paralyzed from the neck down and then slowly, probably about four weeks later, things started coming back to life.
The first thing I felt was the big toe on my right foot. I remember moving it. I went crazy with happiness! Slowly the right side came back more or less the same as before. I still have paresis on the left side of my body: left foot, left hand, hamstrings, triceps.
There are a lot of muscles that don’t work anymore. I literally broke my neck, I was paralyzed from the neck down. I play with a strap and a glove that help me hold the stick with my left hand”. Then the fortuitous meeting with Mike Jones.
Dylan continues: “Before the accident I played soccer and I missed the sport. It was then that I met Mike, by chance, at the physical therapist. We made friends and he told me about a particular glove I could use to play golf.
He took me to the Celtic Manor driving range to try and hit some balls. I didn’t want to leave anymore. I hit so many balls that I had blisters all over my hands.” The adapted glove and wristband allowed his weaker left arm to become an integral part of his new golf swing.
“I remember for the first couple of years after my accident I was stuck indoors all the time. Furthermore, I did not accept my condition, and did not want to see anyone but my family and a few close friends. It was really a difficult time.
I depended entirely on others. The closeness of my family members, their affection, was very important. And then since I started playing golf, I’ve seen a lot more of my friends, because I see them on the golf course every Saturday.
I play golf with my family, with my father, every week. And then I get to events things like this and I meet a lot of new people. The thing I love about all of this is that you don’t feel different. You don’t feel different from anyone else, which is very nice.” The EDGA Algarve Open 2022 will remain well engraved in the memory of Dylan Baines: he won the clear strokeplay classification by scoring a -4 (69, 71).
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