Sue puts her heart into the British Transplant Games

Suzanne Swinson enjoyed learning archery for the first time at the British Transplant Games.
Suzanne Swinson enjoyed learning archery for the first time at the British Transplant Games.

A woman who made a miraculous recovery after a heart transplant six years ago took part in the British Transplant Games last week.

Suzanne Swinson (64), who has lived in Bearsden for over 20 years, went hillwalking regularly before doctors told her that she had advanced heart failure in 2008, when she was only 55.

At first she didn’t believe the diagnosis because she felt perfectly healthy - the only reason she’d visited her GP was because she had a cough.

However, three years later her condition was so bad that she was unable to walk more than 100 yards without stopping and relied on a balloon pump to maintain the beat of her heart.

She was placed on the transplant waiting list and within six weeks she was admitted to hospital when a donor was found.

After her life-saving operation in 2011 Suzanne has fought her way back to fitness by climbing hills, walking, going to the gym most days and bowling at the Allander Leisure centre.

She began skiing lessons with the initial aim of just getting down a slope but she soon set her sights on a bigger challenge and took part in the world winter transplant games in 2014 in La Chapelle d’Abondance, Haute-Savoie, in France.

Sue also took part in the baton relay in the Commonweath Games in Glasgow in 2014, carrying it through the ward where she was a patient at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank.

Suzanne, who is married with two grown up sons, read the athletes’ oath at the opening ceremony of the British Transplant Games last Thursday night at Ravenscraig in North Lanarkshire, to “strive to give our best in the spirit of sport, for the honour of our teams, and in thanksgiving to our donors and families”.

Sue competed in bowls and also took the opportunity to try archery.

And, after getting some basic tuition on the day, she decided to to take part in the archery competition.

Sue said: “The event was very moving with donors’ families included in everything.

“Archery was brilliant fun - I think I might have found myself a new sport!”

Sue’s next adventure will be the World Winter Transplant Games in Anzere Switzerland in January next year.