Rachel’s triple Transplant Games success

Rachel Hooley, from Cramlington, who won three medals at the British Transplant Games.
Rachel Hooley, from Cramlington, who won three medals at the British Transplant Games.

A youngster is celebrating a hat-trick of medals at the British Transplant Games.

Rachel Hooley claimed two silver and a bronze medal at the national games, held in Newcastle and Gateshead.

The 11-year-old, from Cramlington, was taking part in her fourth games, competing as part of the Freeman Kids Heart and Lung team.

Rachel was just seven when she underwent a lifesaving heart transplant at the Freeman Hospital in 2012 due to dilated cardiomyopathy.

But she nearly missed out on her medal success this year after suffering from ill health in the lead up to it.

Rachel said: “I didn’t know if I was going to compete or go along and watch but I decided to have a try and make my donor proud.”

Rachel took home a silver medal in the 25m breaststroke, silver in the sports stacking and bronze in the five-a-side football.

Her mother Eve said: “Rachel she has shown how true wonderful organ donation is, living her life to the full.”

And to top off the event, the youngsters were invited to a celebration and awards ceremony at St James’ Park, where she was presented with her awards by TV star Jeremy Kyle and Newcastle United players.

The British Transplant Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families.

For more on organ donation visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk