A woman from Sheffield is set to compete in the British Transplant Games, two years on from having a heart transplant.
Around two years ago Laura Malpass, 24, from Gleadless had a heart transplant, but despite this, in just a few days time she will be competing in the British Transplant Games against athletes from across the UK.
When she was 17, Laura showed no signs of needing a heart transplant, until one day when she passed out after going swimming.
She was later diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which meant that her heart's ability to pump blood was decreased.
Laura then had a pacemaker fitted, but it began to shock her so doctors had to intervene and in September 2015 she was added to the transplant list, before undergoing a heart transplant nine months later.
Now, she will be competing in what is due to be the the largest ever games with more than 1,000 transplant athletes and over 2,000 supporters registered as it returns this Thursday, August 2, to Birmingham after 19 years.
Laura said: "Its my first time at the games this year, I am nervous as I don't know how good at sports I am, but the whole point is that I can actually attempt to do sports now, my heart is actually working and we are all doing this in honour of our donors and to raise awareness for this special important cause, bring it on!"
Held over four days at the University of Birmingham and other venues across the city, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games include more than 20 sporting events and competitions including everything from cycling and snooker to swimming and football.
The Opening Ceremony on Thursday evening commences with the 50+ teams from around the UK, parading from Victoria Square to the Symphony Hall.
For the first time at the British Transplant Games, an attempt will be made for the Guinness World Record, for the ‘Largest gathering of organ transplant recipients’
James Neuberger, Chair of the British Transplant Games Local Organising Committee, a Trustee of Transplant Sport and Consultant Transplant Physician at QEHB is looking forward to the Games. He said: “The run-up to the Games is always an exciting time but this year is set to be the biggest and best yet.
“We can’t wait to welcome athletes from across the UK to Birmingham for the first time in so many years and for such an amazing cause. I want to wish the very best of luck to all the athletes that are busy preparing, we are very much looking forward to meeting them in just a few days time!”
Open to all transplant recipients, the Games seeks to celebrate the life-changing effects of transplantation, encourage transplant patients to regain fitness, while increasing public awareness of the need for more people to sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes now with their families.
For more information on the British Transplant Games visit www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk or you can sign up to the Organ Donor Register here.