Birmingham heart transplant patient competes in the British Transplant Games in support of UHB Charity

The 2023 British Transplant Games took place in Coventry from 27th to 30th July and University Hospitals Birmingham Charity attended to support the Birmingham Adult Transplant Sports Team. The British Transplant Games aim to demonstrate the benefit of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families. The weekend also celebrates and thanks donor families and the gift of life.

Imran Vorajee, who received a heart transplant in 2018, took part in the 2023 British Transplant Games for the first time; competing in archery, table tennis and football. He came third in archery and won silver in the table tennis. Imran was just 37 when he was diagnosed with end stage heart failure and was told that a heart transplant was his only hope. He said, “I was given 1% chance of survival and had it not been for my donor I wouldn’t be here today.” Imran underwent life-saving surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and has recovered incredibly well. He has taken part in the Games to highlight the importance of organ donations and how an active lifestyle is not only an essential part of the recovery process, but also a way for transplant recipients to realise how far they have come. Imran said, “I feel that I am still the same person now. Given this new heart, I’m able to do the things that I was able to do before, which I took for granted, and now I’m making the most of it.”

Imran is hugely supportive and passionate about raising awareness for organ donation, as well as encouraging people to consider donating, particularly in minority groups. He said, “Transplants work; I am living proof that organ transplantation is important and it needs to be promoted. People from the BAME group especially need to come forward.”

Consultant heart and lung transplant surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Aaron Ranasinghe, is thrilled at how well Imran has recovered. He said, “Imran was one of the sickest patients we’ve ever had. He had a very long journey, both him and his family, and it’s absolutely fantastic to see him doing so well and see all the things he’s doing.”

As well as taking part in the British Transplant Games, Imran has been fundraising for UHB Charity to thank the incredible team who saved his life. He said “We need to constantly support UHB Charity, without them how else would we get the news out and raise awareness.” Aaron added, “The support from UHB Charity is second to none. They’ve helped us fund different projects for both our heart and lung patients which make a great difference.”

Earlier this year UHB Charity announced its partnership with A Edmonds & Co Ltd to fund and develop the Edmonds Transplant Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The centre will become a national centre of excellence for organ transplantation, creating a “one stop shop” for patients throughout their transplantation journey, from pre-operation to post-op rehabilitation and patient support.

If you would like to support the Birmingham Transplant Centre and make a big difference to patients’ lives, you can make a donation here: hospitalcharity.org/birminghamtransplantcentre

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