St Albans transplant patient is a silver star at world games
- Credit: Photo supplied
Celebrating both life and victory is St Albans athlete William Laughton, who has again returned triumphant from an international sports contest.
The inspirational 28 year old, who underwent a bone marrow transplant at the age of 25, recently picked up two silver medals in the World Transplant Games in Argentina.
Competing in cycling events, William received the medals for the time trial and road race in his age group.
His success comes after the athlete retained his gold medals at this year’s British Transplant Games.
Just last year William was highlighted in the Herts Advertiser after collecting two bronze medals while representing Great Britain in cycling at the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland.
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Around that time, he thanked his brother for ‘upgrading’ his bone marrow as a result of the transplant, as he had been suffering from leukaemia.
Going from “near-death” to full fitness took about two years to achieve.
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Commenting on his success in Argentina, where he was among 107 athletes in Team Great Britain, William said: “It was an awesome experience to represent GB at the games and be part of a very successful team, doing all the donors proud.”
About 1,000 people competed in the games, which take place every two years.
Staged by the World Transplant Games Federation, the organisation arranges international sports events for athletes to demonstrate the physical success of transplant surgery, and raise awareness of the need to increase organ donation.
But it says that more must be done to bridge the gap between the need for an organ transplant, and the hundreds of thousands of people who die each year because a suitable one is not available.
For more information and to sign up to the donor register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.anthonynolan.org which is a blood cancer charity which has been saving lives for 40 years.