Medals for transplant pair
TWO young athletes in Chippenham and Calne have won sporting medals after undergoing major organ transplants.
Two years ago, Owen Tomsett, 11, of Pewsham, was in Bristol Children’s Hospital three times a week having dialysis.
But since being given a life-saving kidney by his mum, he has won gold in the 50m sprint at the British Transplant Games.
Owen chose to represent the hospital that treated him and ran 50 metres in 8.11 seconds in the Games held at Bolton earlier this month.
He narrowly missed out on the bronze for the same race in last year’s Games.
His dad Nigel Tomsett, 49, said: “He’s not a big lad but he goes like a whippet. My wife Alison is over the moon that she’s been able to give this gift of life to him and to see him running like that. It’s changed his life totally.”
Ben Sporle, 14, from Calne, also competed as part of the winning team from Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he had a heart transplant just a year ago.
Ben, who has severe learning difficulties, also won a silver medal for his part in a tug-of-war competition and completed a triathlon.
His mum Kerry, who works at St Nicholas School in Chippenham, said: “Ben was very tired afterwards but it was an amazing experience for him. He has so much more energy now and it is wonderful that he could take part in the games.”
His parents Kerry and Jason Sporle, who are divorced, first became worried about his health in August 2012. Ben’s condition deteriorated in 2013 and he remained at the children’s hospital in Bristol until spring, when a heart donor was available.