Transplant mum goes for gold
PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 July 2011
A MUM who received a kidney transplant from her husband less than two years ago has gone on to win five medals at the World Transplant Games.
The Mercury reported in 2009 how Ian Winstone had volunteered the organ to his wife Romana nine months after she gave birth to daughter Venice – a delivery doctors said would be impossible due to her illness.
Now, just 21 months after the operation, Romana has won two golds, two silvers and a bronze medal at the games in Sweden.
Romana, aged 41, was told eight years ago that her ill-health, the result of a bad reaction to Crohn’s disease, meant she would never get pregnant.
But she defied the odds by giving birth to Venice and then her husband offered her the transplant.
Prior to the Sweden games she won a gold and four silver medals, as well as a team swimming event, at The British Transplant Games in Bath.
She also won the Best New Transplantee Trophy, sharing the prize with an athlete from Manchester.
The mother-of-one, of Berrow Road, Burnham, said: “I hadn’t been well enough to swim before 2010, but I wanted a goal after the transplant and to get back to fitness, so this is what I did.
“The games aren’t just about winning medals though, they are about raising awareness of the importance of organ donation. Burnham and District Lions Club has been fantastic by sponsoring me to go to Sweden and my colleague at Burnham Swim and Sports Academy, Emma Course, has been a great help during my training.”
Romana is off to the British Transplant Games in Belfast this month and then hopes to qualify for the next World Transplant Games in 2013.