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Brave Henry returns to tackle transplant games

Posted onPosted on 31st May

A courageous young Mansfield boy who doctors said may never walk again is to take part in the British Transplant Games for a second year in August.

Six-year-old Henry Entwistle, who will be competing for the Nottingham Children’s team, will tackle four events — the donor run, obstacle race, cup stacking, and ball throw.

Henry’s parents found out before he was born that he would need a new kidney as soon as he weighed 10kg because of kidney damage. At birth, his kidney function was just six per cent.

Both his father and grandad offered to donate a kidney and were found to be a match.

It was decided the grandad would donate his kidney, hoping that Henry’s dad could donate his kidney later in the youngster’s life when he is expected to need another transplant.

Henry underwent a kidney transplant from his grandad at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, aged 18 months.

However, he experienced many problems during the operation, including a perforated bowel, and was left in a coma for 16 days after the transplant due to swelling.

The youngster then spent three weeks in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, where he suffered a stroke and was paralysed.

His parents were told he may never walk, talk or see again.

However, Henry fought back and around 10 months later was walking.

Today, he is a typical, vibrant six-year-old who is living with a gastrostomy tube — and last year was one of the youngest competitors at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

In 2024 the games will take place in Nottingham, from 1st to 4th August.

It is the flagship event of Transplant Sport, the largest national charity promoting active recovery for transplant recipients.

Aiming to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and encourage transplant recipients to stay active, the games will feature more than 1,000 transplanted athletes as well as a further 2,000 participants who will be joining in the celebration of the gift of life — including organ donors, donor families, and official supporters.

Currently, around 7,000 people in the UK, including 200 children, are waiting for an organ transplant. On average, someone dies every day in need of an organ transplant because there aren’t enough donors.