By Josh Morris
Eight-year-old Ella is our pint-sized champion, returning from the games in Bolton with two gold and two silver medals
A schoolgirl has overcome liver cirrhosis and bone problems to claim two gold medals at the 2014 Transplant Games.
Ella Noon from Llandudno Junction came home first in the 50 metre run and in the long jump.
And she also picked up silver medals in the obstacle course and the ball throw.
Ella’s stunning achievement came after she had a liver transplant in 2008 when she was three-years-old to treat the disease.
As a result, she will have to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life.
Competitors at the games compete for the hospital where they were treated.
Hadyn IballElla Noon won four medals at the 2014 Transplant Games
Ella, who turned nine on Sunday, starred for Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the event which took place in Bolton, near Manchester, at the weekend.
Her mum, Andrea, couldn’t be more proud: “She loves competing and loves to win.
“She does need physiotherapy afterwards, but apart from that she’s fine.
“It’s the first she was well enough to do.
“We tried to enter last year, and a few years ago as well, but she wasn’t well enough.
“I’m very, very proud. I’ve never been before, and seeing the opening ceremony was overwhelming, lots of tears being shed.
“When you’ve been through a transplant, they tell you about the transplant games, there were 1,600 people there this time”
“There were people from Leeds, Alder Hey, Great Ormond Street all competing against each other.”
“Ella competed for Birmingham, She got a race number and a kit, and then Birmingham won the overall event, so we had a Gala dinner on Monday night.”
The main aim of the Transplant Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and boost numbers on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The Games have taken place annually since 1978, with around 70 teams taking part – some teams as large as 150, some as small as just two.
Overall, 600 athletes took part in Bolton, with 1,000 spectators and supporters.
There are events for children younger than five, as well as a full programme of events for adults of all ages.
Lynne Holt, trustee of Transplant Sport, said: “It demonstrates the quality of life people can have after a successful transplant, and most importantly, highlights the need for more people to discuss their wishes on organ donation with their families and sign on to the Organ Donor Register.”
The 2013 games were held in Sheffield, and saw organ donor registrations in South Yorkshire rise by more than 22,000 names.
For more information, go to www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk