By writer to www.thenorthernecho.co.uk
A NORTH-EAST coronary heart transplant survivor has competed in a karting endurance occasion to advertise the significance of organ donation.
Simon Ripley, of Darlington, underwent a life-saving coronary heart transplant at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in 2008 when he was 24.
He obtained the center of an 18-year-old, recognized to him solely as David, from the Leeds space, and he has gone on to champion the reason for organ donation.
Since having the transplant, Simon has usually made the headlines due to his sporting achievements. He’s a triple gold medallist within the British Transplant Video games, and the present European champion in each the 20okay biking and duathlon occasions.
He has additionally competed within the World Transplant Video games in 2013 and 2019, profitable a silver and two bronze medals.
Simon has now taken half in a two-hour, 111-lap race on the Teesside Karting circuit, on the outskirts of Middlesbrough, as a part of a three-man group representing The Freeman Coronary heart and Lung Transplant Affiliation.
“It was very bodily demanding, but it surely’s simply one other method for me to point out that it’s attainable to stay a full and energetic life after having a transplant,” he stated.
The occasion, which happened throughout Organ Donation Week, was organised by extremely profitable North Yorkshire racing automobile driver, Max Coates, who’s sponsored by Teesside Karting.
Thirty-six karts took half, cut up between skilled, beginner, and company groups.
Simon’s team-mates have been buddies Bret Upex and Ian “Bizz” Phillips, a star of British drift racing. The trio completed a gallant second within the beginner race.
Max stated: “It was unbelievable to have Simon collaborating within the race as a result of he’s an actual inspiration after the whole lot he’s been by. He’s an enormous fan of touring automobile racing, so it was nice to hyperlink up and have some enjoyable on the monitor.”
Earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, Simon had been coaching for the 2020 European Coronary heart and Lung Transplant Video games, scheduled to happen within the Spanish metropolis of Bilboa on June 7.
He’ll now be specializing in defending his titles on the European video games in Belgium in 2022.
“I’d bow out of my predominant occasion of biking at these video games, however I’m on 49 medals so I’d like to make it 50 so I can retire completely satisfied,” he stated. “Within the meantime, I’ll at all times stick with it selling the significance of being an organ donor.”
- To seek out out extra about organ donation, go to: www.organdonation.nhs.uk