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Westbury heart transplant boy brings home medals
Primary school pupil Tyler Wood took home two medals from this month’s British Transplant Games, just months after a heart swap.
Now the Westbury 10-year-old is talking about getting into training for next year’s event.
Tyler, of Primmers Close, was diagnosed with arrhyt-hmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy last year. It is a disorder in which damaged heart muscle is replaced by scar tissue and fat.
His only hope of survival was a heart transplant. A suitable donor was found after a 15-week wait at Bristol Children’s Hospital and he had the six-hour surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital, returning home just in time for Christmas.
The Bitham Brook Primary pupil took part in several events at the Transplant Games, which took place in Sheffield earlier this monh.
He took home a bronze medal in the tug-of-war competition, a medal for completing the triathlon, a participation medal and a medal for being part of the London hospital’s GOSH Heart and Lungs team.
Tyler said: “It was really good fun and I enjoyed all the events I took part in. I want to do it again next year now and I’ve already asked my dad to coach me.”
Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport UK, the British Transplant Games attracts hundreds of athletes, all of whom have undergone at least one life-saving organ transplant.
Tyler’s mother, Ali, said: “It was an absolutely amazing weekend and Tyler benefitted so much from competing. It has really given him a huge belief that he can achieve anything he puts his mind to.
“Watching children from all abilities pushing themselves against the odds was so inspiring and quite a few tears were shed.
“The most emotional moment was when every single person in Sheffield City Hall stood up and applauded the Donor Families as they entered the Opening Ceremony at the start of the Games.
“Without these amazing people, none of the competitors would be still here today. It was also really nice to meet other families who had been through the same thing as us, as well.”