Methodist patients win big at national Transplant GamesHouston, TX - 8/16/2010
The event is held every other year and is designed to give transplant recipients a chance to celebrate the gift of life through sports and fellowship with one another. The Games also offer donor family members and living donors the opportunity to meet others who have gone through similar experiences.
Mandy Lusby, who received a heart/lung transplant last September, took home six medals in swimming, volleyball and 3-on-3 basketball. Dana Reader, who received a new heart in 2008, won four medals in discus, shot-put, table tennis and 3-on-3 basketball and Brian Gilliam, also a heart transplant recipient, was a member of the Texas golf team.
"I never thought after my transplant that I would be taking part in an event like this," Lusby said. "The whole experience has been a life-changing for me. Meeting so many wonderful transplant patients made me feel like I wasn’t alone in what I went through."
"When one of my doctors first told me about the Games I wanted to laugh in his face," Reader said. "I’m really glad I did it. Winning the medals took me back to my high school days and the entire experience is one I will never forget."
"I didn’t win any medals, but the games were absolutely amazing," Gilliam said. "Just being able to play golf and compete after receiving a transplant is more than I could ask for."
"Competing in the Games is evidence that transplant patients can go on to live normal lives," said Methodist Transplant Center director Dr. A. Osama Gaber. "To think that heart and lung transplant patients will die in a year without a transplant and now they are healthy enough to physically compete is a triumph for these amazing people."