James Jones & Sons sponsored Kayleigh Llewellyn to participate in this year's Transplant Games. Kayleigh is the daughter of James Jones & Sons employee Shaun Sidney, who works at our Durham site.
Kayleigh competed in the 4 day event in Coventry, where she represented the Freeman hospital and CHUF ( Children’s Heart Unit Foundation). She scooped gold in the Donor Run, which she is getting engraved and giving it to her donor family. Kayleigh also participated in netball, where her team won the silver medal and came fourth place in the football.
Kayleigh was a fit 12yr old and a keen footballer and
gymnast – then at the age of 12 she collapsed at football training and was
rushed to hospital – she was told that she had gone into heart failure and only
8% of her heart was working. She was put onto life support to
let her organs rest and after being released after operations and with
medication, she waited for a heart transplant after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease.
Kayleigh then underwent a heart transplant at the Freeman Hospital Children’s Heart Unit in 2019,
Kayleigh won a Child of Courage trophy at the Best of Wearside Awards in 2021.Judges heard how she had her transplant in November 2019 but only came home in January 2020 after a truly incredible journey and 102 days in hospital.
She had 10 operations – some of them lasting 13 hours, 100 stitches and was given a new heart. She later raised money for the hospital that saved her life and then went on a mission to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Running for over 40 years, the Transplant Games are a celebration of life. Taking place in different host cities every summer, the games see teams from hospitals across the UK come together to compete in a medley of sports.
The 4-day event attracts around 1,000 transplant athletes and more than 1,700 supporters. An inclusive Games: Transplant survivors including children as young as five can compete in more than 25 sports and indeed, many athletes also go on to compete at the World Transplant Games.