Fareham kidney transplant boy lives the dream and takes gold at games

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A SCHOOLBOY’S dream to take part in a sporting event came true after years of waiting for a new kidney.

Matthew Nolan, was born with chronic renal failure and has had a lifetime of watching sports from the sidelines while he waited for transplant surgery.

Matthew Nolan celebrates after winning gold at the Transplant Games. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142459-4)

Matthew Nolan celebrates after winning gold at the Transplant Games. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142459-4)

After 18 months on the donor list, the 10-year-old underwent a kidney transplant last September at Southampton General Hospital.

And finally he got to live out his dream of becoming a sports star as he took part in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, in Bolton.

Matthew, of Fareham, joined the Southampton children’s group that is made up of eight children aged between five and 14.

He said: ‘Our team was called the Organators.

‘We were given a uniform with our names on the back and all had different areas to compete in.

‘I did swimming, athletics, tug of war and the triathlon and won two gold medals. Most of the people who went were from my clinic so some of them I already knew and was quite good friends with.

‘One of the best parts was the opening ceremony where we all walked through Bolton high street in our team uniforms with people cheering and at the end we had a photo with a giant minion from the film Despicable Me.’

His mum Sonja Nolan and 12-year-old sister Becky attended to games, which took place at the Macron Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers football team.

Sonja said: ‘It was a wonderful weekend and great seeing all the kids have fun.

‘Matthew didn’t have very much energy before the operation. He was so happy to take part and we’ve already registered for next year in Newcastle.

‘I’d definitely recommend the games to other people who go through transplants.’

The games welcome 60 teams of all ages who come together to compete from all over the country.