When I was growing up all I wanted to do was work on cars, my dream job was to be a motor vehicle engineer, a car mechanic if you will. I left school at 16 and started at a garage immediately, I went to college, got qualified and was doing what I absolutely loved. One day when I was 23 years old I had an accident on the workshop floor, I'd slipped and dislocated my right knee. I was in agony.
My knee took months to heal, the GP and Stoke Mandeville hospital could not work out why. I had more tests at hospital and got sent to a specialist in Oxford. It was there that I got my diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy.
For about a day my world fell apart, I knew that I would never do the job I loved so much again, I also knew that at a young age I would face major paralysis.
I've never been one to mope or thrive on negativity, quite the contrary.
Obviously I spoke to family and told them about the condition, my older brother was also diagnosed with the same condition at the same time, so we had each other. We also had our dad, now our dad was good with quotes and sometimes he'd stun me with a quote from someone or even claim it as his own. Speaking of the Muscular Dystrophy my dad said "Remember what I've always said son, Every man has the right to decide his own destiny"... I loved that, except dad didn't always say that, Bob Marley did!
I took the advice anyway and decided that I would change my career, re-educate myself and get into a job that had something to do with this condition, somewhere I could see what was going on and whether we would ever be on the brink of a cure or at least something to slow the progression. I wanted to know that I was helping myself. I took my car knowledge and got a job working for Volkswagen, I started as a collection and delivery driver and worked my way up to UK fleet sales all the while soaking up the business environment and dealing with customers. I then went on to a I.T. company in Aylesbury initially as a general administrartor then went on to become company peripheral buyer. I had a few jobs in-between but these were the ones that moulded me, these were the ones that qualified me with I.T. skills and office etiquette. I took all my I.T. experience and applied for a Job at a company called Phlexglobal based in Amersham, Bucks.
Now I cannot really put it out on a blog or social media what I actually do at Phlexglobal, nor can I really tell you who our clients are. What I can do is show you what our website says:- "Phlexglobal are worldwide leaders and specialists in the provision of electronic Trial Master File (eTMF) document management solutions as well as all associated TMF support services. We offer a unique combination of Task Force support, TMF and eTMF systems and Quality Control services that deliver solutions to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, CRO and lifescience industries. Phlexglobal counts 17 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies amongst its clients."
It's so much more than that!
The documentation and media that gets processed through the company and the assistance we give clients contributes towards cures, medication and medical devices to help with so many different conditions and illnesses. I look daily at paperwork that helps with epilepsy, cancers, stroke, arthritis and so much more.
We recently had an extremely proud moment when we received some client feedback where the work we performed helped them tremendously.
This new drug is the first in a new class of medicines to show a reduction in mortality in Acute HeartFailure.
Imagine that! Imagine going home on a Friday afternoon knowing that you may have helped and contributed towards saving someones life. Fantastic!
Now I have a few stand out moments at Phlexglobal, one was a presentation at our 'Town hall meeting' on Wednesday 3rd of April 2013.
|Stella and I at my presentation.|
Managing director, Stella Donoghue had asked me to give a presentation to the company regarding my condition and all what I was doing to help the 'Muscular Dystrophy campaign' as I had been involved in writing, representing in parliament, raising funds and lots more.I was petrified! It was extremely scary but most definitely desideratum and with the help of my mentor Gareth Hayes I got through it.
Another one was 17 years after my diagnosis. On Wednesday 15th January 2014 I started working on a new study. I was sat, working in a company, working on a study for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy...
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues at Phlexglobal. Whether it's for giving way to a wobbly, slow man on the stairs, sponsoring an event or even volunteering at last years London Marathon! It is all very humbling and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
You can follow me @hywoodmartin, Phlexglobal @Phlexglobal and The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign @TargetMD on Twitter.