Transplant Games delight for Alex, 7

Alex at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Alex at Great Ormond Street Hospital

A SCHOOLBOY from Hailsham who underwent a heart operation was watched by his proud parents at the weekend as he competed in the British Transplant Games.

Alex Allen, who has been a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) since just before his first birthday receiving ongoing treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy, got a taste of the Olympics as he represented GOSH at the event.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently.

The Hawkes Farm Primary School pupil had a successful heart transplant last year and as a result now has the opportunity to compete in sport.

The seven-year-old’s proud mum Sally, who has been watching Alex take part in the prestigious event, along with d ad Mark and their daughter Polly, 13, said, “It’s absolutely wonderful he can take part.

“I just can’t thank the donor family enough. They will never see their child take part in sports again and we have the privilege of Alex doing this. It’s very special indeed.”

The family were at Rochester Cathedral last Thursday for the opening ceremony of the four-day event.

Alex was part of Team GOSH and represented the hospital in ball throw, obstacle course, long jump and 50m run against other children representing other UK hospitals.

Janet Holmes, Surgical Play Team Leader at GOSH, said, “I feel privileged every year to be the team manager for the GOSH cardiac Transplant Games team.

“Each and every one of our GOSH heart and lung competitors in The British Transplant Games is a champion by virtue of standing at the starting line waiting for the starting signal!

“Alex taking part in the transplant games and his drive to do his best is a symbol of his own unique and personal achievements in life. I wish Alex the very best at this year’s games.”