doc

A woman who has undergone a life-saving kidney and liver transplant has overcome poor health to win five medals at a national games for transplant patients.

Helen Wilson picked up three glittering gold medals in javelin, discus and shot putt, a silver in the 100m and a bronze in archery at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games last weekend.

The games are designed to promote the benefits of transplant operation and encourage people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register.

Mrs Wilson, who is head of human resources at the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in Madeira Walk, Windsor, had a kidney transplant in 2007 – lovingly donated by her brother – and a liver transplant in December 2013 following diagnoses of both polycystic kidney and liver disease.

Having had both kidneys removed she needed dialysis treatment for five hours three times a week. She was even taken off the organ donor list after being deemed too sick. But she eventually had a transplant and learnt about the games during her time at King’s College Hospital in London.

She first visited the games as a spectator in Bolton in 2014 and took part for the first time last year after starting training with a Bracknell Athletics Club coach, Ken Spencer and joining The Gym in Bracknell.

Mrs Wilson, who lives in Wokingham, said: “It was wet and windy for the archery, but we were very lucky and it stayed dry on Sunday for the athletics when the kids and the adults did their events. The atmosphere was amazing and the opening ceremony on Thursday evening involved about 3,000 people including athletes, sponsors, supporters, volunteers – and donor family members. The whole of The Games was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate life and show what is possible after a transplant.

“And also to raise awareness of the fact that more people need to sign the donor register and for the all-important conversation to take place at home so people know whether a family member wants to be a donor.”