Kenilworth woman 'emotional' after winning gold and bronze medals at European Transplant Games

A Kenilworth woman who survived two liver transplants has brought home a gold and a bronze medal from the European Transplant Games.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 2:14 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:58 pm
Boryana Nankova brought home a gold and a bronze medal from the European Transplant Games

Boryana Nankova, 56, won the ladies singles table tennis competition, and finished third in the ladies doubles with her partner Emily Potter at the Games in Cagliari, Sardinia.

Boryana said: “Winning the gold medal for Great Britain felt very emotional. I can think of nothing better than being involved in such a big event and witnessing so many competitors that have benefitted from the gift of life from an organ donor.”

Boryana, a nurse at Kenilworth Grange care home, had to have a liver transplant five years ago despite being relatively fit and healthy.

Her body rejected the first liver, meaning she had to have a second transplant just three days later.

Boryana said she was fortunate to be alive, and encouraged everyone to join the organ donation register.

She added: "I realised that if my donor didn't have a donor card, I could be dead. I'm extremely lucky. Saying thank you to my donor just isn't enough."

Boryana's success at the Games contributed to Team GB's haul of 165 medals, including 67 golds.

Lynne Holt, GB Team Manager, from the UK charity Transplant Sport (TS) which supports Team GB, said: “I am delighted with the number of medals won, and that the athletes training, has brought success.

"Many of our transplant athletes have experienced near death situations and long illness, and it is very gratifying to see them able to enjoy a full life, thanks to organ donation.

"However, all our athletes are gold medallists, in that they have all won their race for life, but the true champions are those individuals that gave the gift of life, offering all these athletes their second chance to live.”