Heart transplant woman prepares to tackle games

Wendy Lingham

Wendy Lingham

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A WOMAN who planned her own funeral after being given only weeks to live is gearing up to take part in her second British Transplant Games.

Wendy Lingham, 34, a mum from Clifton, who was diagnosed with heart failure in 2002 and had to undergo an emergency heart transplant in 2011, is taking part in the games this August in Bolton, to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Wendy, who works for healthcare group Barchester in York, said: "I would like to stress how important it is for people to sign up to the organ donation register and to make their wishes known with their families as this can be contested.

"Many people die needlessly because there are just not enough organs. There are currently 10,000 people in the UK in need of an organ transplant - three people die each day whilst waiting on an organ transplant list because of a shortage of organ donors."

She added: "I am looking forward to taking part in the games as they highlight what organ donation can do. It really does save lives.

"It is my way of paying tribute to my donor, a stranger that decided I should have another chance of life. My life and my family's life has been transformed since and I'm doing things I once dreamt of."

Wendy, who has an 11-year-old son, Joshua, took part in the walking, biking and swimming events at last year's games, winning a silver medal for the biking time trial.

She said: " After finishing the games, I was immediately hooked and I was eager to compete again. I was surrounded by ordinary people doing extraordinary things who were an inspiration to me. I am so grateful for every day I am given in life and cherish every second."

To become a donor call the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23, text SAVE to 62323 or sign up online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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