25 July 2019

The 42nd British Transplant Games begins in Newport this week and Royal Papworth Hospital will be taking its biggest-ever team.

The Welsh city is hosting the event – which will see more than 1,000 transplant athletes from more than 50 hospitals compete in 23 different sports - from Thursday 25 July to Sunday 28 July.

Royal Papworth will be represented by a squad of 39 transplant patients, four more than the 35-strong team who last year retained the trophy for ‘Best Heart & Lungs Hospital’ for the third year running.

Here, we focus on Susan Brown, who made her debut in last year’s Games in Birmingham.

Name: Susan Brown
Age: 57
From: Sawston, Cambridgeshire
Transplant: Single lung transplant, 2014
Events: Long jump and 3km walk

“I had a condition called obliterative bronchiolitis, an interstitial lung disease which caused pulmonary fibrosis and damaged my lungs, making me short of breath.

"Before my transplant in 2014 my health really started to deteriorate. Oxygen enabled me to move around slowly and I relied on my scooter and wheelchair most of the time, my breathlessness increased loading the dish washer, and I needed to crawl up the stairs before we got a stair lift.

“I then had my transplant and survived early rejection and lymphoma cancer complications which led to a pneumonectomy on my right native lung to save my life (again!).

“From 1998 when I first developed a dry cough all the way through to today, I am so grateful to everyone who has looked after me to get me to this point.

“Thanks to the NHS and the generosity of my donor I am now able to volunteer at my local museum, I am also a member of singing, craft, exercise and gardening groups, and I have been able to see my children become young adults.”

The aim of the Games is to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and will be followed by the World Transplant Games in Newcastle in August.

Sports include athletics, basketball, snooker and volleyball, with the youngest competitor aged just three-years-old.

Maggie Gambrill, Team Manager for Royal Papworth Transplant Sport, said: “The British Transplant Games is an important annual event in our Transplant Sport calendar. This year we will have our largest team ever taken to the Games and includes 11 new members. We will also be taking 62 supporters with us to cheer us on.

“The event provides a real focus to keep fit and well and is a great way of showcasing what people can achieve after transplant. The team has a wonderful camaraderie and the new members will be made very welcome. The Royal Papworth Transplant Sport team is inspirational and I'm very proud to be their team manager."