Teenager from Portchester hopes to win gold in World Transplant Games
TEENAGER Emily Potter is going for gold when she returns to the World Transplant Games.
The 19-year-old is hoping to improve on her bronze medal when she represents Team GB in Malaga.
Four years ago she got on the podium in South Africa, but hopes to do better this time with her badminton doubles partner.
The World Transplant Games, held every four years, are for people who have had a transplant.
Emily had a kidney transplant when she was 11 after being diagnosed with dense deposit disease. The rare illness caused both her kidneys to fail and Emily – just nine at the time – had to go on dialysis.
Nine months later doctors found she was also suffering from a leaky valve in her heart.
It took two rounds of heart surgery before Emily could finally get the kidney transplant she needed in March 2009.
Her dad, Bob, was the donor.
Mum Pauline said: ‘Emily had got into the sport almost by chance when she was 11 years old as a result of needing a kidney transplant.’
After the operation at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Emily had been encouraged to be active for rehabilitation purposes.
Pauline added: ‘Emily was trying to find her way in something she was good at and got going with badminton. She discovered she was a natural.’
Emily, from Portchester, has been to the UK Transplant Games several times and won a gold medal at a recent Helsinki European Transplant Sport Championships.
In South Africa she won a bronze medal in the ladies badminton doubles and the backstroke.
Emily said: ‘I am excited and really looking forward to competing.
‘It would be good to do better this time and win gold. It would be incredible.
‘Although I am not generally a nervous person, I know that as soon as I get out onto the court I will start to feel nervous.’
The games started on Sunday and finish on July 2.
Emily will be one of the final athletes to compete when she takes part in the badminton doubles. She will be competing next Saturday.
Pauline added: ‘It is wonderful that Emily will be competing in the games, we are all really excited for her.’
For more details on the games visit http://wtgmalaga2017.com.