Winning with a stoma

Keith Thomas
Keith Thomas
I have made it my mission to embrace my second chance at life, not allowing having a stoma to become a barrier to me doing anything.

Hi to you all at a Bigger Life!

As you may or may not know, I have had an ileostomy for seven years owing to ulcerative colitis damaging my bowel, then having to have it removed in 2012. Since then I have made it my mission to embrace my second chance at life, not allowing having a stoma to become a barrier to me doing anything.

Six years ago, when I was fully recovered from my surgery and into a regular routine, I responded to a newspaper advertisement and applied to First Cymru buses (national bus company for Wales) to become a full-time service bus driver. I was successful (obviously!) but when I was leaving to take up my new post, my employer said to me, "Go and be the best bus driver you can be."

Well this month, on the 1st of November, I won The Transport for Wales Driver of the Year award in Cardiff.

The result was announced at an amazing black-tie event held in the Mercure Holland House hotel.

Then on the 19th November, I took the silver award for top National driver at Troxy’s, London in the UK Bus Awards - the oscars of the bus driving world!

I am extremely proud of what I have achieved in the last six years, both as an ostomate representing our community and also as a First Cymru bus driver. So, Pauline (my former employer), I did it!

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