11:05AM, Saturday 16 August 2014
A teenager who had a life-saving transplant has won gold and silver medals in a national sports competition that aims to raise awareness about organ donation.
Stuart Robbins, 15, developed a condition called volvulus, where the intestine is twisted, when he was just 15-days-old.
For years he had to be fed intravenously and suffered various complications, including regular bouts of kidney stones, which caused him a great deal of pain.
In April 2009 - at the age of nine - he was given a small bowel transplant by Birmingham Children’s Hospital which saved his life.
Since the operation he has been well enough to compete against thousands of other former transplant patients from hospitals around the UK at the British Transplant Games, and this year he won the gold in badminton and the silver in table tennis in the 15-17 age group.
His dad, Paul, 54, said: “If Stuart hadn’t had the transplant then life would have gone downhill very rapidly because he couldn’t eat as much as he needed.
"Since the operation he has gone from strength to strength.
"He has had a few setbacks but he has overcome them and moved on."
Mum, Joanne, and dad, Paul, travelled with Stuart from their home in Beverley Garden, Pinkneys Green, to Bolton so he could compete in the games on Sunday.
The dad-of-two said: "It’s very important to raise awareness of organ donation because there are thousands of people still on the list and three people pass away every day for not being able to receive a transplant."
Stuart, who is studying for his GCSEs at Furze Platt Senior School and plays badminton and table tennis at SportsAble in Braywick Road, said: “It was a great experience and I feel really happy about getting the gold.
"It means a lot because a few years ago I couldn’t even take part in sport and now I can.
"I’m happy because my life is now mostly normal and I can do normal things."
Stuart is also hoping to be selected for the World Transplant Games in Argentina where he would be the first small bowel transplant patient to compete.
A former kidney transplant patient has won a gold medal for tennis in the British Transplant Games.
Mike Grundy, 67, suffered kidney failure and had been on dialysis for five months before he was given a new kidney in 2008.
Although the transplant was carried out by surgeons from the Oxford Transplant Centre, over the years his progress has been monitored by the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which is closer to his home in Cadogan Close in Holyport.
The tutor for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) represented the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the games held on Sunday, and won the medal in the over 60s age group.
He also won the silver medal for tennis in the 2013 World Transplant Games held in South Africa.
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