Boryana Nankova received a liver transplant at QEHB back in 2013. In her own words, she tells the story of her transplant and the role that sport has had to play in her recovery.
In 2013, I suddenly became ill and was admitted to Warwick Hospital for investigation. My general condition was absolutely fine but the jaundice was showing that there was something seriously wrong. In order for me to receive the best possible treatment, I was transferred under blue lights to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
I became increasingly concerned about my deteriorating condition and my worst fears became true when the doctors confirmed that I would need an urgent liver transplant to save my life. I was totally shocked!
I was placed on the super-urgent waiting list in the hope that a suitable liver could be found in time. Fortunately, after just 48 hours a donor was found and I underwent my life saving operation.
Unfortunately, after just a few days, my transplanted liver failed and, after being placed back onto the super-urgent waiting list, another donor was found and I underwent my second liver transplant.
After my two transplants, my condition was extremely poor as I lost my mobility and I felt a completely different person compared to how I felt a week before. My road to recovery was extremely long and I am grateful to all the medical professionals that eventually helped me to get back to my normal life!
Sport was always one of my passions before my illness, so when I discovered about Transplant Sport I was extremely interested in getting involved. I joined Team GB at my first European Transplant Games in Sardinia in June 2018 and I won Gold Medal in my favourite sport of Table Tennis. I was extremely proud to then represent the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at my first British Transplant Games in Birmingham in August 2018, where I won Silver Medal in Table Tennis.
This year, I am looking forward to representing Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham at the British Transplant Games in Newport, Wales, followed by my first World Transplant Games in Newcastle in August 2019. I am really fortunate to be alive and I encourage everyone to join the Organ Donation Register. I now live a second life thanks to my Donor.
Saying thank you to my Donor just isn't enough. I am only alive today because of a very kind Lady who was on the Donor Register. I am so grateful and want to give something back as a way of saying thank you. No words are enough to express my feelings, to explain what is the value of my new life. My donated organ is my treasure and a true gift of life.