Inspirational North Wootton youngster Hannah set for Transplant Games

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As the Rio Olympics draw ever closer, an inspirational youngster from North Wootton is set to battle it out in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games this week.

Hannah Eke, aged four, will be one of more than 900 people who have overcome serious illness and received life-changing organ transplants to converge in Liverpool.

The Games take place between Thursday and Sunday, but taking part in an event like this seemed a million miles away more than two years ago.

Then, the two-year-old was undergoing dialysis six times every week after being born with both kidneys too small and unable to do their job.

She had a gastronomy tube in her stomach to help while doctors prescribed her medication to prevent her from feeling sick and replenish her sodium levels.

Suffering with dysplastic kidneys, Hannah was placed on the organ donation register in September 2013 before, four months later, a kidney donor was found.

At the time of her transplant, Hannah was the youngest to undergo such an operation.

The transplant has totally transformed Hannah’s life.

Before her operation, Hannah was weak, often dehydrated, unable to eat and extremely tired.

Simple things like bathing were difficult and swimming was also out of the question.

Her mum Claire said: “When she was so poorly, you never thought she would be able to do something like this.

“Hannah underwent her transplant two days before Christmas 2013 and it has changed her life completely.

“She can now eat, walk and is full of life. She is an inspiration and demonstrates how important organ donation is.

“She is still on a lot of medication, including immunosuppressants, and we have to watch her closely but she can enjoy being a four-year-old.

“We very much appreciate what that family did for us and I would urge anyone to become a donor.”

Hannah, who will start at North Wootton Primary School in September, will compete in five events at the games; an obstacle race, ball throw, stacking, a 25-metre run and the long jump.

She will also participate in the 3k donor run, along with her dad Richard, Clare and her brother Ben 7.

“It is her first time at the transplant games so we are all very excited,” said Mrs Eke.

“It will be lovely for her to meet other children like herself and for all of us to meet families that understand what it’s like.”

Mrs Eke paid pribute to medical staff for their support throughout Hannah’s ordeal.

“We have received fantastic support and care, and still do, from the QEH hospital as well as the Nottingham Childrens hospital.

“The community team at the QEH have been fantastic. If Hannah hasn’t felt well or has needed checking over, they’ve always helped out.”

n North Runcton veteran athlete Malcolm Souza-Lewis, who won five medals at last year’s games, will also be participating in Liverpool.