Tuesday, September 8, 2015

We got this nice photo along with an amazing story from Simon Randerson! You simply have to read Simon's story!

Photo taken with Recycle Me T-Shirt at the British Transplant Games in Newcastle this year, the medal is Gold for the team swimming relay.

“I received my Liver transplant in January 2002. I had contracted Hep B in 1984 and was in the 5% of people who do not clear the infection. I suspected that I may need a transplant some time in the future but got on with my life and everything seemed fine for many years. At the end of 2000 I started to feel unwell and in May 2001 I was rushed to hospital with an infected Gall Bladder. Many tests later they decided to take my Gall Bladder out and while doing it they did a Liver Biopsy. This showed that the years of having active Hep B virus had taken its toll on the liver and it was in end stage cirrhosis. From that point on my health deteriorated. I needed to have fluid removed from my abdomen every 3 days due to ascites cause by the liver failure.
I was at this time living in Brighton and was sent to King’s College Hospital in London to the Liver unit. There they decided a liver transplant would be the only option to save my life. I was put on the transplant list in December 2001 and was told I had about 8 months to live and in that time they would find me a liver. My partner was told I would probably not see the end of the year if a liver was not found. Christmas came and then the New Year and by now I was confined to the sofa or bed barely able to drink or eat then at the end of January I received the telephone call to say a liver was available and they would send an ambulance. I was taken the hour long journey to London and the next day had the operation.
Waking up after surgery was extraordinary, I felt well and able to think normally for the first time in months, the new liver was working and getting rid of the toxins which had been flooding my body while I had been ill. The colour of my skin had returned to normal and although I had tubes attached to me I felt better than I had done for over a year. When illness is progressive you don’t realise how ill you have become until you are better again.

I was transferred back to Brighton hospital 2 weeks later and back home a week later. I would walk to the beach and back, then a little further along the beach each day, soon I was able to walk the whole length of Brighton promenade. I got tired of walking so got on my bike and began to cycle everywhere.

I had seen a poster for the British Transplant Games before my transplant and thought, if I ever had a transplant I would compete at the games.

My first games were in Norwich in 2004. I had not competed in sport since school and was unsure what to enter. At the games you can enter up to 5 events so I entered cycling, swimming and a track race, I can’t remember the distance but know I came last and the same was true in the cycling. However, I came first in the 50m Backstroke. I had never received a gold medal in my life before. I was selected to join the British Transplant Games team going the World Games in London, Ontario, Canada the next year. I trained hard all winter and although old in my age group (40-49) I managed to get a Bronze Medal in Canada for the 100m Backstroke.

Since then I have competed at World Games in Bangkok, Durban, Gothenburg and Gold Coast, Australia. I have won gold medals at all of these games and now compete in swimming outside transplant sport but all the time proudly wearing my Transplant Sport kit to promote the effectiveness of organs donation and the need for more people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register. Competing in Transplant Sport is my way of saying thank you for my transplant, without it I would not be alive and would not be able to compete.” - Simon