Woodhall Spa’s Declan record breaking World Transplant Games has golden finish

Declan Bennett and Rachel Tweedale
Declan Bennett and Rachel Tweedale
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Woodhall Spa teenager Declan Bennett has returned home with a sensational seven gold medals and five tournament records from the World Transplant Games in Argentina.

Named the Outstanding Junior Male of the 20th World Transplant Games in Mar del Plata, Declan won gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke as well as in the 4x50m medley relay and 4x50m freestyle relay.

Declan, 16, a pupil at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Horncastle, received a living donor kidney transplant from his father Guy in 2009.

The youngster is sponsored by The Elite Fish and Chip Company, who are raising awareness of organ donation throughout National Transplant Week (7th to 13th September).

Declan said: “The World Transplant Games granted me all I could have possibly wished for and more.

“To say I am over the moon is not enough. My aim going into these World Games was to medal in at least one event, so what I achieved was completely unexpected.”

Rachel Tweedale, from The Elite Fish and Chip Company, said: “Huge congratulations go to Declan on his outstanding effort and amazing achievement. We’re proud to sponsor Declan.

“At The Elite Fish and Chip Company, we hope that Declan’s success will inspire people to consider donating their organs.”

This year’s National Transplant Week campaign (7th to 13th September), called 7 Days to Say I Do, will encourage individuals to discuss their decision about organ donation with those closest to them.

When Declan was aged seven it was discovered that he had chronic renal failure caused by the presence of posterior urethral valves.

The donated kidney from his father enabled Declan to work towards a healthy lifestyle and return to the many sporting activities he enjoyed prior to surgery.

Guy said: “Transplantation is a treatment and not a cure, so at some point in the future Declan will require another transplant or maybe several more. This may come from a relative, an altruistic donor or from a donor who has died.”

Declan had travelled to Argentina in fine form having claimed five individual swim gold medals and track relay silver and bronze at the British Transplant Games on Augustm 1.

*For more information about organ donation and National Transplant Week, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk or follow on Twitter @NHSOrganDonor

*For more information about the World Transplant Games, go to www.wtgf.org