Heart op girl grabs two golds
Elodie Gray is the pride of Kingswood after the Transplant Games.
A FIVE-year-old girl whose life was saved thanks to a heart transplant has brought back two gold medals from a national event which raises awareness of organ donation.
Elodie Gray competed in the British Transplant Games which took part in Newport at the end of July.
The event saw more than 1,000 transplant survivors come together to compete in 23 different sports.
Elodie, who lives in Kingswood and is a pupil at Beacon Rise primary school, was triumphant in the games, emerging with gold medals in the long jump and 25m track events.
Dad Colin said Elodie's achievements were even more remarkable given how close to death she had been.
He said: “Elodie was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopthy back in March 2014 and placed into an induced coma for two months at Bristol Children's Hospital before being air lifted to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
“After three cardiac arrests and a stroke which paralysed her left side, she was placed on machinery which was keeping her alive.
“We were told that due to complications the device which had been supporting her heart would be turned off and we would have to say goodbye to her. Thankfully at the eleventh hour a heart came in from France and Elodie underwent a transplant.”
Colin said the British Transplant Games were testament to how many lives have been saved because of organ donation.
“We met some great families at the games who had similar stories to ours. It was fantastic to be a part of it and the two gold medals just topped it off. We are very proud of her.”
Coincidently, a teacher at Elodie's school also took part in the Games.
Garreth Rhodes had a liver transplant in 2016 following a diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in the early 2000s.
Garreth, who says he is “immensely grateful” to the family of his donor for saying yes, also did brilliantly, taking a gold medal in archery and bronze in both the 5K and 10 pin bowling events.
The games, organised on behalf of charity Transplant Sport, also help increase awareness of the charity Anthony Nolan and its need for blood stem cells and bone marrow donation.