Host of medals for Sam at British Transplant Games
A Spalding teaching assistant has extra passion for spreading the message that “organ transplants save lives” after success at a special competition.
Sam Newton (36) came back from his fourth British Transplant Games in Scotland with a silver, two bronzes and a special Donor Walk medal, three years after having a kidney and pancreas operation.
Archery, badminton and volleyball transplant were the three sports Sam competed in as part of a team that represented Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where the double transplant operation took place in February 2014.
Sam said: “This year was more about the taking part, although if there was a medal to be won, I went for it full throttle.
“It was a really close competition in archery but I was disappointed that I didn’t shoot as well as I can.
“The winning score was 201 and I got 200 but as much as I was gutted at not getting the gold, I could have easily ended with the bronze and a score of 199.”
his year was more about the taking part, although if there was a medal to be won, I went for it full throttle
Sam’s bronze medals came in badminton, after reaching the semi-finals, and volleyball where Addenbrooke’s fielded a much smaller team than usual.
He said: “Volleyball was difficult because we only took 13 competitors to Scotland, six of them being volleyball players.
“Of those, two had never played volleyball before, two hadn’t played since last year’s Transplant Games and two of us played regularly.
“However, I wasn’t expecting a medal in badminton because I hadn’t picked up my racket since last year’s Transplant Games.
“Me and my partner actually played quite well considering that I hadn’t seen him since last year.
“The pleasure I got from each medal was reflected by how long it stayed round my neck and the badminton one stayed there for seven hours after I was presented with it.”
A bonus medal came for Sam after helping another transplant patient from Addenbrooke’s to walk round Strathclyde Country Park as part of the Transplant Games’ Donor Run.
Sam said: “It’s important to keep getting the transplant message out there because too many people have died just because families have withdrawn their loved ones’ consent for their organs to be donated.
“I’ve won ten medals from four British Transplant Games only because a family going through the grieving process said ‘someone else can have my loved one’s organs’.”