As a proud Dad, I hope no-one minds me putting this report on here about Paula's achievements at the British Transplant Games, held in Newport (Sandra's home town as it happens!) I have sent this story to the Chronicle but I cannot predict if they will use it or not, so here it is in full:
Last weekend, the British Transplant Games were held at Newport in Gwent, an event where Transplant Patients from all corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland met both competitively and socially over a four day period in what turned out to be ideal weather conditions.
Over 30 Hospitals were represented in the Games. One of the team members from the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge was our daughter Paula Evetts of Potton, who had a heart transplant over three years ago and was entering the Games for the first time. Paula, married to Mark and mother to Kieran,13, and Cordelia,9, had put her name down for four events but being a novice felt that she probably wouldn’t have much luck in her first attempt. She was soon to be proved wrong as in her first event, Ten Pin Bowling held at Cwmbran, she came out top in the Ladies 40-49 age group. This not only surprised Paula but her family who had gone to the Games to support her efforts. Coming top in her group won her the Gold Medal!
The following day at Newport’s Velodrome, the Badminton competition was held and although she enjoyed the matches, she wasn’t in the winning pair but they did get the Bronze Medal in their age group. All good experience.
Finally, on the Sunday, it was the athletic events and here Paula had entered the 100 metres, and was runner up in her group gaining the Silver Medal. The last event she was in was the 4x100 metres mixed relay race but unfortunately Paula got cramp and their team finished last, so no medal this time.
At the Gala Evening at the end of the Games, participating hospitals were awarded Cups for the most number of medals awarded to them. The Royal Papworth collected the Best Heart and Lung Hospital Award for the fourth year in succession, with their collection of 59 medals.
Overall, this was a great weekend for Paula, a real confidence builder to prove how successfully her new heart was working. For this, she will always be grateful to the Donor and her family, for giving her back her life, and of course to the wonderful team at Papworth for making it all possible.
Paula has already put her name down for next year’s Games which will be held in Warwick.
Finally, if you the reader, are not already an Organ Donor card carrier, please consider becoming one to give young mothers like Paula, and everyone who needs a new Organ, a new lease of life.