Will Godwin is a student at Cardiff Met, who started his athletic career as a triathlete and rower.
As a child, Godwin was active in sports from age three and was a competitive swimmer until age 11. He then became an avid triathlete as a swimmer, cyclist and runner.
In a span of 13 months, however, Godwin survived two freak accidents which could have taken his life.
In September of 2018, Godwin was riding his bike home from a workout when he was hit by car going over 60 miles per hour. He was thrown nearly 70 feet, and among numerous life-threatening injuries, endured severe brain trauma.
“I was told, based on witness reports, a bloke came straight up behind me and hit me,” Godwin said. “I was flown back into the windshield and then thrown 50-75 feet. My bike and everything was spread over about 100 meters.”
Godwin made a full recovery and amazed his doctors by returning his bike nearly four months later.
“The first responder was an off-duty nurse,” Godwin said. “I was really lucky because my head was bleeding out in the road. She stabilized me until the ambulance arrived.”
But, in his first semester at Cardiff Met, Godwin was met with yet another life-threatening challenge. While training on a rowing machine on campus, the multi-sport athlete suffered cardiac arrest.
“It was almost 13 months exactly,” Godwin said. “I was thinking on the machine this is hard work. I just bent over in the seat and about 30 seconds later I blacked out.”
Staff at the National Indoor Athletics Centre on the Cyncoed campus , performed CPR and used defibrillators to bring Godwin back to life. He spent three weeks in the hospital undergoing tests.
Godwin is nearly fully recovered, despite limited upper body exercise. He has returned to school, cycling and his new sport of tennis.
The unbelievable story — told for the first time as part of our Transatlantic Storytelling documentary — is being produced by Seena Greiwe and Michael Garbarz.
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