A 28-year-old swimmer from Stonehouse is hoping to make a big splash at the World Transplant Games in Australia.
Following glory at the British Transplant Games, Kelly Young, a swimming instructor at Stratford Park Leisure Centre, will compete at the games in Perth next April.
Kelly will be competing in five individual swimming events: 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle. Selection for the UK Women’s Swimming Relay Team will also take place in Perth.
Kelly was born with a condition called biliary atresia. Following a failed Kasaii operation at just eight weeks old she was listed for a liver transplant and received a pioneering living-related transplant in 1994 with part of her mum’s liver at the tender age of eight months.
“Having a transplant from my mum has left me forever grateful as it is something that took a lot of courage and selflessness to do,” said Kelly who is a former Minchinhampton, Sir William Romney’s and Stroud College student. “I was the 6th child in the UK to receive a living-related transplant, my mum had to take a massively difficult decision to agree to go ahead with the new pioneering procedure to save my life; to which I can never thank her enough.”
Despite being fit and well, Kelly still requires daily immunosuppressive medication and regular monitoring. However, Kelly has gone from strength to strength and boasts a wealth of swimming experience, winning a raft of medals in her swimming journey, she explained: “I have attended the annual British Transplant Games since 2002. Competitors represent the hospital at which they received their transplant, in my case King’s College Hospital, London.
“My first World Transplant Games was in Thailand in 2007. Held twice yearly, I have competed in seven World Games, winning 32 gold, nine silver and five bronze medals and an Outstanding Junior Athlete Award in 2011.”
To help fund Kelly’s trip you can donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kelly-young-94?utm_term=wQWPZ6eby
World Transplant Games, Perth, Australia 14th -22nd April, 2023