Yvonne Dunham's life was saved by a heart transplant and she is now taking part in the British Transplant Games
A Suffolk woman, whose life was saved by a heart transplant, is now gearing up for the British Transplant Games.
Yvonne Dunham from Fressingfield was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, also known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, at the age of 39.
After many years of deteriorating health, she was referred from Barts Hospital London to Royal Papworth and was advised to sign up to the transplant waiting list.
More than a year later, a successful transplant was carried out.
“If I hadn’t received the transplant, I wouldn’t be here, I would be dead by now,” said Mrs Dunham, 68.
She has decided to take part in the Games to honour her donor and the family and to raise awareness of the positive impact of organ donation.
The mum-of-three said: “My donor and her family are constantly on my mind. For my one-year anniversary in February, people were congratulating me but personally, I felt very sad that day because I thought ‘yes, it’s my one-year heart anniversary, but it’s also a year since a family lost somebody.”
Yvonne is one of more than 1,000 participants joining the Games and transplant survivors can take part in 23 different sports.
At the event taking place from July 25 to 28, Yvonne will complete a 3km walk and Tenpin Bowling.
She said: “I feel it’s my obligation to live my life as best as I can and make sure that this gift was worth giving to me.”
Yvonne was one of five people who underwent lifesaving transplant operations within a record-breaking 36 hours at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge last year.