The British Transplant Games: Akash’s Story
Ahead of the British Transplant Games launching next week, we met Akash, a double-kidney transplant patient who has been taking part in the Transplant Games for 12 years.
Akash received his first kidney transplant in 2004 when he was just six years old. His mum was his first donor, going under the knife for Akash at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. During recovery, Akash was approached to take part in the Transplant Games, which he signed up for immediately.
The first transplant lasted 11 years before failing in 2014. Akash was put straight onto dialysis when the kidney failed, then suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2015. Akash was put into intensive care where consultants refused to operate due to the existing trauma in the brain.
In November 2015, when Akash had recovered enough to operate, he received his second kidney transplant which was donated by his dad. During the summer of 2015, Akash was too ill to take part in the Games but still insisted on going to support his team and spectate.
“We now plan our summers around going to the Games. Nothing gets in the way and it’s incredibly important to our family that we all go together.”
The British Transplant Games have been in existence for 30 years and demonstrate the benefits of organ transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, connect with other patients and increase public awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Tina, Akash’s mum said “The whole thing is like a big support forum and there’s nothing else like it. When Akash got ill, there was nowhere else to go for support and the Games mean so much more to all of us in our family than just sport.”
The Games host teams of all ages and abilities, and even have separate competitions for parents, siblings and even donors.
Akash said “Through the Games, I have made a really close group of friends who I talk to every day. We each follow one another’s journey and everyone pulls together in support when things are difficult. If I didn’t go through what I went through, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet these amazing people and be a part of this.”
The Transplant Games are funded through charitable donations and would not run without them. This year, the Leeds Children’s team (the largest team ever to attend) has been funded by Leeds Cares and Kidney Care UK. Akash will be attending once more, competing in table tennis, javelin, discus and archery events.
To help us continue to make such a significant difference to the lives of transplant patients, please donate.
To give £5 towards the Transplant Games, text GAMES to 70660.
Thank you for caring.