A YOUNG boy has returned victorious from the British Transplant Games after his most successful competition to date.
Eight-year old Charlie Middleton-Ashdown, of Broadwater Way, had a life-saving transplant, thanks to his mum donating a kidney, when he was two years old.
Charlie has been competing in the British Transplant Games for the past three years, and this year, at the games in Belfast, won two gold medals and one silver.
His dad, Andy, said: “We are so very proud of Charlie’s achievement at this year’s games.
“He is one of many, many children who have demonstrated amazing courage.
“Being able to watch the children compete in the competition is always very emotional and is a reminder of just how important organ transplantation is.”
Charlie competed in four events – the obstacle race, table tennis, 50 metres track and long jump.
He won gold in 50 metres, gold in obstacle race and silver in long jump.
Charlie’s team, the Evelina VIPs, won Best Kidney Team in the competition and were awarded a shield at the event’s gala dinner.
Charlie, who attends Broadwater First and Middle School, said: “Me and my team mates have to spend so much time in hospital that it’s really good to go to the games and take part in things that we are not usually able to.”
Mum Caroline donated one of her kidney’s to Charlie after her his failed.
Charlie spent eight weeks at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, and still receives ongoing care there.
Caroline said: “A significant amount of fund-raising and sponsorship takes place each year to enable the children to travel to the games and take part.
“We were thrilled when Charlie’s year group at school offered to hold a cake sale recently to raise money for the Evelina VIPs.
“Parents baked hundreds of cupcakes, which the children sold in the playground for 20p each.
“Through this cake sale, the school raised over £160. It was deeply moving to witness this amount of support for Charlie by his friends.”
Charlie hopes to have raised more than £1,000 for the Evelina Children’s Hospital this year, and plans to take part in the British Transplant Games in Medway next year.
Grainne Walsh, paediatric transplant clinical nurse specialist at the hospital, said: “We believe each transplant child here at the Evelina Children’s Hospital should be supported and encouraged to reach their potential in life.
“One way to help them achieve this is to focus on training for the games and by encouraging their healthy competitiveness and good sportsmanship.”