Cardiff Met Technician Scoops Three Golds at Liverpool’s 2016 Transplant Games

​11/08/2016

Emma Wiltshire at​ last year’s Transplant Games, where she won five golds and a silver​.

As well as Cardiff Met's Olympics contributions this week, a member of Cardiff Metropolitan University's teaching staff won her three events at the 2016 Transplant Games at the end of last month.

Emma Wiltshire, 31, is a massage and rehabilitation technician demonstrator at the University's Cardiff School of Sport (CSS) and won all three of her events - the long jump, high jump and 100m.

More than 700 people, including organ donors and recipients, competed in the annual games in Liverpool to raise awareness of organ donation in the UK.

Speaking about the games, Emma said: "This year was my second Transplant Games and it was brilliant to go back and compete, and see fellow athletes who I had met at last year's British and World Championships. Transplant Sport is an amazing organisation which encourages sport and exercise for organ recipients, and being involved has helped enormously with my own battle back to fitness."

Emma was working as a sports therapist for the Welsh Commonwealth athletics team in Portugal in 2014 when she suffered acute liver failure and had to undergo a transplant. She received a transplant within two days of falling ill, as Portugal operates an 'opt out' system, meaning a match was found quickly.

Wales became the first nation in the UK to introduce the same system in December 2015, in a bid to increase the number of organ donors.

Before her liver failure, Emma had competed in athletics for over 15 years, including sprinting for Great Britain at under-23 level.

After the transplant, she lost more than a quarter of her body weight as well as the ability to walk due to muscle wastage. But she took home five gold and one silver medal in last year's games.

She added: "Knowing I could compete in the Transplant Games was my incentive to get back on my feet. I was a sprinter before my transplant, and although my rehabilitation process took over six months, I was soon back on the track and aiming for medals in the Transplant Games."