Success for Abigail at the Transplant Games

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A youngster who made medical history seven years ago is going from strength to strength after scooping a string of sports awards.

Ten-year-old Abigail Hall returned home from the 
British Transplant Games with four medals – a 
silver medal for cycling and a silver and two bronze medals for swimming.

The P7 pupil at Millersneuk Primary was born with a rare condition – Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome which meant she had only one working heart chamber.

When her health deteriorated in late 2007, doctors had to act quickly to save the Lenzie youngster’s life and Abigail became the first child with the condition to successfully have a Berlin Heart fitted.

The computer controlled device, which sucks blood out of the heart and pumps it up to full pressure and pushes it into the arteries, kept Abigail alive long enough to have a heart transplant six days later.

She is now thriving and was delighted to be chosen to be part of the Glasgow children’s team for the transplant games, which took place in Newcastle a few weeks ago,

Abigail wrote an article for her church magazine about her experience and said: “I never thought I would win one medal, never mind four!

“I’m looking forward to the 2016 games in Liverpool already.”

Abigail was also chosen to carry the Glasgow banner for the team at the opening ceremony in Newcastle city centre.

She said: “I was chuffed. It was also pretty amazing to know that everyone there had had a transplant and gone through a similar experience to myself.”

Abigail’s mum, dad and little sister Lucy (6) were at the games to cheer her on, along with her gran and grandpa.

Abigail said: “Before the cycle race started I was nearly crying, as I felt very nervous because I was the first person to start it off.

“I was pedalling as fast as I could and I’m sure I heard Lucy screaming my name as I whizzed by.”

Abigail described winning the silver medal for cycling as “an incredible moment and one I will remember forever”.

The weekend of sport ended with a big gala dinner at St James’ Park, home to Newcastle United Football Club.

Mum Gillian said: “This is the first time Abigail has taken part competitively in sports and we are very proud of her.

“She decided to take part after a nurse asked her during a hospital visit.”

She added: “She hasn’t had swimming lessons for years! She does dancing every week and likes her bike.”