From paralysis to Parliament in 10 years for MP

David Chadwick with Westminster in the background across the river.
David Chadwick said he appreciates the NHS after having been in a near-fatal crash and having a rare paralysing disorder [David Chadwick]

An MP who survived a near-fatal car crash and having a rare paralysing disorder is preparing for his new life in Parliament.

David Chadwick, 32, the new Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe, said 10 years ago, he was not sure this moment would ever be possible.

After making a full recovery from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, he said he had a greater appreciation of the NHS and was passionate about improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

He said the party was "delighted to be back on the map in Wales".

Mr Chadwick was accepted into the Army Intelligence Corps at 19 but, after over-training, was told to come back in two years.

"I thought 'I don't want to stay in Gloucester and work in a call centre' so I went to the Netherlands while I recovered," he said.

There he studied international studies - politics, economics, languages and history.

But when a driver "went through a red light" and hit him, Mr Chadwick said he was put into an induced coma in 2012 and, when he woke, he found his leg split in two.

"All these international students looked after me, that's confirmed my belief in people and internationalism," he said.

It took three months for him to recover and he decided to study in Argentina in 2014.

"I had a yellow fever vaccination and unfortunately that triggered my immune system which triggered something called Guillain-Barré syndrome."

This is a very rare and serious condition that affects the nerves and he ended up "totally paralysed" when he was 22 and was brought home to the UK to be nursed back to health by his family.

"The experience made me realise how important a functioning health care system is, because we never know when we're going to need it," he said.

Mr Chadwick added that it made him realise the "the quality of those services would dictate the quality of my life for the rest of my life".

David Chadwick looking at the camera aged 22
Mr Chadwick said it took him three years to fully recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome [David Chadwick]

"When I was totally paralysed I had a lot of time to think about my life and I decided I want to use my body and the rest of my life to do good," said Mr Chadwick.

"I've met a lot of people over the past couple of weeks who really need support and it's an honour to be in a place where I can hopefully help them as much as I can."

He said he felt "very honoured" and "humbled" to have won.

Mr Chadwick said he was part of a group of new Lib Dem MPs representing rural constituencies and would also be focusing on issues such as depopulation, attracting jobs and investment to his area and securing more funding for agriculture.

Mr Chadwick won a majority of 13,736 votes in the election after taking the seat from Conservative Fay Jones.