Hywel Griffiths, was an intelligence officer with Gwent Police and has used poetry as a way of expressing his thoughts on life in the police force and life with Parkinson’s.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 32 in 1998 and gave up his role as a dog handler to move into intelligence with Gwent Police.
He said: “At the time of my diagnosis, I didn’t know what to think. I thought this was supposed to be an old man’s disease? Luckily, I had a positive Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist and she was brilliant.
“Life goes on and I don’t ever think, ‘Why me?’ One of the things I noticed since then is how much people complain. I just thought, ‘Get a life!’
“These things happen and you just need to get on with it. I made a promise to myself to the best I can be. For example, one of the reasons why I do publicity is for parents because it must terrible to be told that your son or daughter has Parkinson’s.”
Since his diagnosis, PC Griffiths has obtained a BSc Degree and a Diploma in Social Policy and Criminology from the Open University.
He said: “Luckily, Parkinson’s does not affect your intelligence or how you think. The force has been fabulous and the feedback I’ve gotten has been brilliant. As I always say, I’ve caught more criminals with a mouse than I ever did with a dog.”
In May 2015 he was presented with the Gareth HOPKINS Memorial Award for the courage shown in overcoming adversity and being an inspiration to others.
In the June 2015 he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service and for work done into raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease, and promoting the role of disabled people in the workplace. He was presented with this award by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.