Richard among world’s best half dozen

Richard Adams of Chirnside at the World Transplant Games, taking part in the 50m breaststroke (picture by Phil Horan)
Richard Adams of Chirnside at the World Transplant Games, taking part in the 50m breaststroke (picture by Phil Horan)

The World Transplant Games made a visit to Tyneside last month.

The 1500 competitors from around 60 countries at the games had all had organ transplants to overcome life-threatening diseases.

Some events were also for live donors or members of donors’ families.

The games celebrate and publicise the success of transplant and show donors their gift of life to someone else has been respected and looked after.

The competitors have all worked very hard to recover fitness, while GB &NI fielded the largest team at the games.

Richard Adams (69), of Chirnside and a member of Duns ASC, competed for Team GB&NI in Sunderland Aquatic Centre in the 60-69 age group.

Unfortunately, this time, the ever-improving competition meant he gained no medals, finishing fifth in both 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke and sixth in both the 400m freestyle and 50m breaststroke.

Richard said: “No excuses, the competition has got harder over the last four years. The British team has always being successful and other countries are catching up. Fifth and sixth in the world is still an achievement. However, this is my last year in this age band and I am hopeful for better success next time in the 2021 games in Houston, in the 70s age group.”

He added: “My thanks still go to the anonymous donor who donated stem cells to me to grow new bone marrow and restore my blood supply. I have now lived nine years I should not have had. Donation really is a gift of life. Please consider allowing organ donation and tell your family your views. There are currently over 6000 critically ill people in the UK needing a transplant.”