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Golden success for Derby Hospitals transplant team

Published 27/11/2014
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A team made up of patients who have are cared for by the renal transplant team at the Royal Derby Hospital competed at the sporting event, held in Bolton.

The games offer people who have undergone organ transplants the chance to compete for medals at a variety of different sports.

And this year, the team from Derby Hospitals won a clutch of medals, with one of the squad being picked to represent Team GB in next year’s World Transplant Games.

In full, the team consisted of Christine walker, Mohammed Thawhid, Encarl Uppal, Bill Dickson, Simon Foster, Vikkey Murphy, Antony Chan,  Jo Hopkins, John Hermon, Jordon Doyle, Susan Ivaskevicius and Jenny Sharpe supported by their team manager Rani Uppal.

One of the gold medals was won by Jenny Sharpe, of Midway, Swadlincote. Jenny, who had a kidney transplant in 2010, took home the top prize in ten-pin bowling, despite not having played for more than 20 years.

She said: “Before the transplant I used to play lawn bowls with my husband before he died. But I haven’t gone ten-pin bowling since the 1980s.

“It’s brilliant to have won. I feel my transplant has given me a second chance so I’m living life as much as I can and being able to take part in these games has been a wonderful experience.”

Kidney transplant patient Jo Hopkins, of Kings Bromley, Staffordshire, won gold in archery and javelin and was subsequently recruited to Team GB to compete in next year’s World Transplant Games in Argentina.

She said: “Having the transplant has changed my life and I could never have imagined myself as a gold medal winner, going to Argentina to compete for my country before. I think all of us on the team have a real passion for life.”

Encarl Uppal also took home a bronze medal in soft cricket.

Rani Uppal, Team manager, said: “I think the success of the team shows what anyone can achieve if they try, despite overcoming health problems and transplants. They are a real inspiration.” 

Last Modified 27/11/2014