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Medals joy for Wirral transplant patient
A YOUNG Wirral man whose life was saved by a donated liver has picked up a string of medals at the British and World Transplant Games.
Matthew Dodd, from Upton, underwent transplant surgery when he was just five following a battle with a genetic liver condition.
The operation was his only chance of survival and now aged 24, he is celebrating his success at the Games.
Matthew picked up a Gold and Bronze medal at the World Transplant Games in July and a Gold, a Silver and three Bronze at the British Games in August.
And he says it is important to show that transplant patients can go on to live normal lives.
He said: "I really want to raise awareness of the Games and show that even if you have been through this surgery, you can go on to compete and be successful.
"It's a great way of promoting organ donation while also doing something you love which for me is swimming."
The Games feature sports such as archery, sailing and swimming as well as golf and cycling, among others.
The event aims to encourage transplant patients to regain their fitness following their transplant and to promote friendship and co-operation between individuals.
And it is extra special for Matthew whose younger sister Rebecca died aged just nine after missing out on a transplant.
Matthew, a swimming instructor, added: "For me, promoting the importance of the organ donor register is close to my heart as I have seen both sides of the transplant waiting list.
"Unfortunately there wasn't a liver available for Rebecca and she sadly died but I was lucky enough to be given one.
"People should know that by just one person registering, it could save up to seven people’s lives as well as the saving the family the heartache of losing a loved one.
"I plan to compete in the Games for as long my liver is happy and healthy."
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