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Andy's story

Andy's story

“A transplant is a magical combination of love and science”, says PKD patient and double transplant recipient Andy Taylor as he prepares for the 9000-mile journey to Perth, Australia to compete in the 24th World Transplant Games next month.

Recovering from surgery - 2014

The father of 2 from London discovered in his 30s that he’s inherited PKD from his father, a former international athlete, who also competed in the Transplant Games after his transplant.

Unfortunately, as the disease progressed and Andy's kidneys became grossly enlarged, he required a double nephrectomy (the removal of one or both kidneys) in 2014.

This led to 2 years of dialysis before undergoing a combined kidney and liver transplant in January 2016.

Once recovered, he set out to make the most of this 2nd chance of life and to honour his donor, as he explains here in his own words:

One of my major recovery goals during the tough days on dialysis and recuperating from the transplant was to compete in the British Transplant Games.

And what an honour and a privilege it was to represent King’s College Hospital - where I had my transplant – when I attended my first Games in Newport in 2019.

Taking gold in Newport!  

The cheers, tears and standing ovation at the opening ceremony for the relatives and families of deceased donors were a wonderful outpouring of love, awe and admiration. It was incredibly emotional to have the opportunity to let them know how much they and their relatives mean to us.

I met some truly amazing, inspiring, normal people with stories of great strength and resilience. Most of them wouldn’t have been there, and certainly not as healthy but for an organ donor.

I was delighted to win gold in badminton and silver in table tennis.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic live events were paused for 2 years. It wasn't until 2022 when I took part in badminton and table tennis in my second British Transplant Games in Leeds.

I also competed in the European Transplant Games in Oxford. With the benefit of some very good badminton partners (they did all the running for me!) I won gold in both events.

And then in October 2022, I received an email to say that I had been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World Transplant Games in Perth Australia in April 2023. I was elated!

The European Transplant Games

The World Transplant Games take place every two years and are supported by the International Olympic Committee. In Perth there will be over 1,000 other transplant athletes and live donors competing in over 17 sporting events from 60 countries across the globe.

I'm honoured, humbled and excited to be selected - It’s a testament to the life-changing power of organ donation.

January 2023 marked 7 Years since my Liver and Kidney Transplant. My wife and I, and the rest of Team Taylor, are grateful every day to the wonderful staff of the NHS, to the friends and family who offered help and support and most importantly to my donor and their family.

When not spending my time training in the gym, playing, watching tips and techniques on YouTube or trying to be sensible with food and drink choices I am encouraging friends (and strangers!) to discuss their donation wishes with their family and loved ones.

My donor did and transformed my life!

The 2023 British Transplant Games are in Coventry, 27-30 July. The Games are a celebration of life and highlight the importance of staying active post transplant. Some people are there because they are competing to win, some people feel they have won simply because they’re competing. It was one of my post transplant goals to compete, and I’m proud I've achieved that.

Why not make it yours?  See you in Coventry?

To date, Andy has won 5 medals competing in the Games (gold and silver), a huge triumph for someone who has had such a tough PKD journey. We wish him the very best of luck in the World Transplant Games and all future Games!

If you'd like to share your story about participating in the British or World Transplant Games, please do get in touch. We'd love to hear from you! 

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