Woodhall Spa ace completes hat trick at Transplant Games

Alison Johns. Picture: John Aron.
Alison Johns. Picture: John Aron.

A professional golfer who was once told she had just five days to live has struck her very own golden hat-trick – at the World Transplant Games.

Alison Johns, who is a teaching professional at Woodhall Spa Golf Club, won a gold medal at the games.

Alison triumphed at the Close House Golf Club in Newcastle.

The games are held biannually and Alison has now played in the last three – and won a golfing gold in each one.

Her latest success comes 10 years after Alison had a life-saving liver transplant.

Alison went to the doctors with flu-like symptoms and her back was covered in spots.

She recalls: “The doctor told me I’d got flu and told me to take antibiotics.”

Alison’s health continued to deteriorate and following tests, she was rushed into the world renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.

She added: “The doctors there told me something was attacking my liver but they didn’t know what.”

Alison was warned she had just five days to live – unless she had a liver transplant.

She said: “I thought I was going to die. I went from being fit and healthy to that, My mind was scrambled. The clock was ticking.”

Two donor livers were rejected but a third – on the fifth and final day– saved her life.

Alison has made the most of what she describes as a her ‘gift of life.’

Her love of golf started when she caddied for her father on a nine hole golf course at RAF Woodhall.

Aged 11, she picked up a golf club and really enjoyed the experience of hitting a golf ball for the first time.

She joined Boston Golf Club and within three years was playing off scratch.

Alison represented England many times during her glittering amateur career at school, U18, U21 and full international level.

She also represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in a tournament played in Canada.

She turned professional in 1991 and played on the Ladies’ European Tour.

Alison has been working at The National Golf Centre in Woodhall Spa since 2008 and has been teaching for the past 20 years,

She has championed the importance of organ donations, adding: “In the UK, 10,000 people are waiting for a life saving transplant. Three die every day waiting.”