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Jennie

By Jennie

I became ill and after many tests I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. I had a nine hour liver transplant three weeks later.

My new liver 'kicked' in straight away and started clearing out my brain of the toxins and three days later my head had cleared. I could think and read and said to my daughter, ‘My head has cleared, 'I'm back on the planet and I'm starving!'. It was a wonderful and unbelievable feeling.

After a total of three months, I was allowed to go home to Mount Gambier and driving from Keith down to the Mount (two hours), I saw three rainbows and I just knew that I was OK - it was a good omen. I went back to playing social tennis after four months, then part-time work at five months.

I heard about the Transplant Games whilst in hospital. My first Games were the Australian Games in Adelaide in 1996 and I won two Gold and one Silver - and I was hooked! I have competed in the World Games in Sydney; then Budapest; Kobe, Japan; Nancy, France; Bangkok, Thailand; Gold Coast, Australia - winning altogether nine Gold, three Silver and three Bronze. I hold World, Australian and British record times for 100m and 200m in my age group. I have competed in Adelaide, Ballarat, Wollongong, Gold Coast and Canberra Australian Games.

In 16 wonderful years I have travelled the world to compete in the World Transplant Games and also fulfilled the dreams whilst lying in a hospital bed with only five-six days to live before my transplant.

I will be forever grateful to my donor family for saying 'yes' to their loved one's organs being donated and for me to be able to receive a second chance at life. I have literally 'run for life' ever since.

I also thank my husband, family and friends for supporting me through the journey - which has been their journey too.

Jennie