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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Young Oxfordshire transplant patients are European champions

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Seven young adult transplant patients who attended a specialist kidney transplant unit at the Churchill Hospital have returned from Italy as European champions.

Transplant Team GB won first place at the European Transplant Dialysis Sport Championships in Cagliari last month, building on another first place finish at the World games in Malaga last year.

The athletes, who all attended the Oxford Young Adult Clinic (Oxford YAC), impressed in various sport disciplines including badminton, cycling and archery, and between them collected 16 medals: two Gold, five Silver and nine Bronze.

Team GB won the overall award with 154 medals, topping the table of 26 European countries.

The seven patients cared for at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, were: 

  • Stuart Robbins, student
  • Keith Sanders, warehouse operative
  • Matthew Hirst, heating engineer
  • Robert Jackson, bartender
  • Carlton Richardson, retail assistant
  • Emily Potter, admin assistant
  • Ikhlaq Ahmed, student

Keith Sanders said: "I wouldn't have known about these games if it wasn't for the Young Adult Clinic; the clinic has helped me get back into sport and have a focus.

"I'm motivated to do my donor proud and live a long fulfilling life looking after my transplant.

"Being around other young people in a similar situation makes me more confident and realise that I am not alone."

Oxford YAC helps improve and support the lives of young adults diagnosed with kidney failure.

More broadly, OUH undertakes approximately 300 kidney, kidney-pancreas, small bowel and islet transplants per year.

Daley Cross, a Youth Development Worker at the Trust, said the European Transplant Dialysis Sport Championships was an "inspirational and motivational event".

He added: "To see athletes who have all benefited from the gift of life winning medals and excelling in their various sports is very special.

"To have seven young athletes from our Oxford YAC represent Team GB makes me very proud. Having helped each of them along their journey and seeing them on the podium is a truly great feeling."

The sporting achievement highlights the importance of organ donation as all competitors have benefited from a lifesaving organ transplant.

Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician Dr Paul Harden added: “OUH leads the way in clinical transplantation outcomes and research in the UK with the opportunity for patients to participate in important cutting edge clinical trials.

"Patient and transplant survival are above average and we continue to increase the number of transplants performed each year offering life-saving opportunities to more individuals with kidney, pancreas and small bowel failure."

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