Liver transplant recipient from Northampton wins five medals at World Games in Perth, Western Australia
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Karen, who underwent a liver transplant in 2010 as a result of an auto-immune condition, is proof of just what is possible after winning Gold in the 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke, a Silver in the 50 butterfly and a Bronze in the 50 freestyle.
Karen, a co-director of UKODTRN, the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Research Network, competed in two days of swimming to represent her country at the Games, taking place all this week.
She said: “I am thrilled, especially with the backstroke which was a gold I didn’t expect and a reasonable time for me.
“A new competitor, a lovely lady, from Canada beat me by 0.3 of a second on the 50 butterfly so a silver there but I was also pleased with my 100 freestyle gold – so all in all a very good (first) day.
“Day two of swimming – to be honest, I thought it would be the other way round as 50 free is usually my best.”
After the liver transplant, Karen also suffered a heart attack and began her fitness recovery through cardiac rehabilitation, going on to take part in the British Transplant Games a decade ago.
Karen works alongside Professor Lorna Marson, a transplant surgeon, for the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Research Network.
The network is a national collaboration of scientists, healthcare professionals, patients, organ donors and family members, funded by Kidney Research UK,
NHS Blood and Transplant and the British Transplantation Society.
The overall aim of the network is to speed up better transplant outcomes for patients, through collaboration and the results of ongoing research.
Anyone with experience of or an interest in organ donation or transplantation can sign up at the newly launched website to join UKODTRN and get involved.
You can also follow the organisation on Twitter @UKODTRN
To see more about the World Transplant Games in Perth, go to https://worldtransplantgames.org.