IT HAS been 30 years since he had a life-saving transplant – and Andrew Dibsdall has not looked back since.
The 54-year-old celebrated the 30th birthday of his new kidney after having the transplant surgery in 1986 at St Mary’s Hospital, in Portsmouth.
The British Transplant Games are a great opportunity for transplant athletes to compete at a national level, to share their stories and inspire people to sign up to the organ donor registerAndrew Dibsdall
Andrew received his kidney having only been on the list for 24 days. He had suffered from glomerulonephritis, which left his kidneys scarred and failing.
Now, 30 years later, the Southern Water engineer is competing at the British Transplant Games leading the Portsmouth team.
Andrew has been taking part in the games for the last three decades and has also taken part in the World Transplant Games four times.
He said: ‘The British Transplant Games are a great opportunity for transplant athletes to compete at a national level, to share their stories and inspire people to sign up to the organ donor register.
‘The British and World Transplant Games would not be possible without the generosity of the organ donors who ensure that these athletes can demonstrate the benefits of lifesaving transplantation.’
This year Andrew, from Eastleigh, is completing in badminton, archery and the 5k race walk.
Following the 30th birthday of his kidney, Andrew is also considering making contact with the family of his donor after their act of generosity.
He said: ‘I sent a letter of thanks shortly after the operation and I didn’t hear anything back.
‘That is completely understandable.
‘I just wonder if now three decades on, things may be less raw.
‘They may like to know that the kidney is still going strong.
‘I would love the chance to say thank you to the family and to let them know what a difference they have made to my life.’
The British Transplant Games, which began in Portsmouth, has been held annually since 1978.
They are designed to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation while increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the organ donation register.
More information is at britishtransplantgames.co.uk