Heart recipient off to live life and compete
14TH EUROPEAN TRANSPLANT GAMES
NINE YEARS after undergoing life changing heart transplant surgery, Barbara Murphy will take on some of the finest athletes in Europe at the 14th European Heart and Lung Transplant Games.
This is not the first time the forty-five year old from Ballyhine, Barntown, has participated in the games.
She has taken part in the games on three previous occasions and has had success in all three.
This year Barbara hopes to add to her gold medal and two bronze medals. Previously, Barbara has taken part in the running and cycling events.
However, having sustained a serious injury to her knee cap she has opted this time round to enter the swimming competition.
As she explains, 'swimming is a low impact sport' which take less of a toll on her knee.
She admits that it was a challenge to re-train and prepare for an entirely new event, but she is really looking forward to taking part in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle and back stroke races.
On top of this she will also compete in the ball throw category.
Barbara remains modest about her sporting achievement to date and believes that much of her success should be attributed to the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association who have given her what she describes as a 'new lease of life'.
Taking part in the games she describes as 'a way of saying thank you so much for the gift of life'.
She also hopes that her participation in the games will highlight the importance of carrying a donor card.
'I think a lot of people don't fully understand that when you have a donor card you must have it signed by your next of kin also', she said.
Barbara continued: 'If you only sign it yourself it is considered void.'
Everyone participating at the games has either received a heart or lung transplant.
Barbara will be accompanied by two of her daughters Tara (22) and Amy (17) to the games which will be held in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands this week.