24 August 2012
A lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University is supporting this year's Westfield Health British Transplant Games in an exemplary way.
Tracey Wornast, Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies has recently donated a kidney to her friend of 10 years after she was unable to find any matches amongst her family. Tracey wants to raise awareness that to be a match for organ donation you don’t necessarily have to be a relative.
Tracey said: “After knowing my friend Sue for many years as our daughters are close friends, I learned of Sue’s health problems, knowing she had to have daily dialysis and seeing her health deteriorate. Having a background in nursing I knew that Sue would ultimately need a transplant.
“Several of Sue’s family were unable to donate for various existing health problems and many simply were not a match. It was at this stage that I asked whether she would mind if I had the tests to see if I was a match. At first I think she didn’t realise I was serious but I approached the hospital for the relevant tests and found out I would be suitable.
“I told Sue myself one evening; quite out of the blue really as she wasn’t aware I had followed through with the tests. Naturally she was quite overwhelmed but shortly after we started the process for the transplant undergoing all the necessary tests with the two of us involved. The operation took place in July and so far everything has been going according to plan.
“The British Transplant Games are a great way of raising awareness of the importance of donating, but I think it’s just as important for people to realise that being a match doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a relative.
“It is a huge decision to donate, but I knew that I could alter Sue’s life expectancy and the family’s quality of life. I had a lot of support from my own family and the outcome has been more than worthwhile. I’d like to encourage anyone who might be able to help someone with a donation to think it over seriously as it really will change someone’s life.”
The British Transplant Games, sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University, is taking place in Medway (23-26 August 2012), minutes from the University’s Medway Campus where Tracey teaches.
The games will see hundreds of transplant athletes competing in a range of sporting events, from archery to running and darts to swimming, with the aim of raising awareness of organ donation.
Canterbury Christ Church University has had a Medway campus since 2004, where classes in health and social care education are offered.
Peter Milburn, Director of the Medway Campus and Academic Lead for Postgraduate Medical Education, said: “The transplant games represent an important event for Medway and Canterbury Christ Church University, many of the staff and students working at the university have direct involvement in training, support and the research necessity to ensure the highest quality care is provided for patients and relatives involved in transplant surgery.”
This year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games precedes the Paralympics with the majority of the action staged at the £11.1 million Medway Park.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, call 03001232323, text SAVE to 84118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.