Brave boy’s Olympic heart in UK transplant games

Alex Allen took part in the games watched by his proud parents.
Alex Allen took part in the games watched by his proud parents.

BRAVE Alex Allen from Hailsham got a taste of the Olympics when he represented Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) at the 2012 British Transplant Games in Medway, Kent, last weekend.

Alex, aged seven, and a pupil at Hawkes Farm Primary School, has been a patient at GOSH since just before his first birthday receiving treatment for Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently.

He endured a successful heart transplant in 2011 and as a result now has the opportunity to compete in sport.

Proud parents Sally and Mark watched Alex in the games along with their 13-year-old daughter Polly. He represented the hospital ‘Team GOSH’ in the 50m run, obstacle course, long jump and ball throw – competing against children from other hospitals in the UK.

Sally Allen 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 British Transplant Games took place over four days to encourage transplant patients to regain fitness and confidence by celebrating life

It also promotes friendship and co-operation between individuals concerned with transplantation, whilst increasing public awareness of the value of organ donation and honouring the transplant recipients, donors and donor families.

Janet Holmes, surgical play team leader at GOSH, said: “Alex’s participation 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 I wish Alex the very best at this year’s Games. Let the Transplant Games torch of sport and friendship burn brightly as he serves as an ambassador for life through the gift of organ donation.”