at only nine months old a liver transplant saved the life of Millie Stobie Platts.
And now the 16-year-old will join 1000 other athletes as she represents Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Malaga.
Millie, a fifth year pupil at James Gillespie’s High School, was born with Alagille syndrome, a genetic condition which can cause liver failure, portal hypertension, and growth problems.
Doctors identified Millie’s need for a liver transplant and she underwent surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital 15 years ago.
Proud parents Bill Stobie and Alison Platts will travel to Spain on June 26 to support Millie who will be competing in table tennis, athletics and volleyball.
Mum Alison said Millie doesn’t let her condition stand in her way and is proud of her daughter’s achievements: “As well as an opportunity for the kids who were in hospital in Birmingham together to see each other, the games are a good way of highlighting the importance of organ donation – Millie wouldn’t be here without the transplant.”
Millie will be the youngest member of the volleyball squad – and at just 4’6” she is also the smallest, standing two feet shorter than the tallest squad members.
She is thrilled to have been picked for the national team. She said: “I am so excited to be going to Malaga to represent Great Britain and NI at the World Transplant Games. I am particularly proud to be the only junior player to have been selected for the volleyball squad.
“Taking part in the Transplant Games means so much to me – it’s not just about the honour of being selected to represent my country at the sports I love, but more importantly the Games raise awareness of the benefits of transplantation and the importance of joining the organ donation register.”
All of the athletes at the games have survived either a heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel or bone marrow transplant. Team manager Lynne Holt said: “In spite of the constant training, fitting in work, school, exams, publicity and hospital clinic appointments, these athletes receive no government support, and have to raise over £1500 to take part in the Games themselves. Sadly, many could not accept their place on the team, because of the heavy financial burden.
“However, the opportunity to represent their country, celebrate life and in doing so, pay tribute to their donors who gave them life, is the goal.
Lynne added: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and hope to raise awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family and friends.”
The World Transplant Games take place every two years and represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world.