KATY, TX – (July 25, 2013) – Eighteen-year-old Jasmine Williams, a Katy, TX resident, is a liver and kidney transplant recipient who, at age 7, was diagnosed with hyperoxaluria with oxalosis type 1, a rare genetic disorder in which a liver enzyme is defective which impacts the function of a person’s kidney. Originally from Louisiana, Jasmine and her family would drive to and from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for appointments and treatment. At age 8, Jasmine received her much needed donor liver and kidney and was given a second chance at life.
Two years after her transplant, Jasmine began to play softball and found joy in sports that she was unable to play while on the organ wait lists. Jasmine will get to use those skills at the 2013 World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa competing in bowling, lawn bowling and badminton.
Jasmine is one of seven transplant recipients who boarded a plane today to Durban, South Africa, to represent Texas Children’s Hospital and Team USA at the 19th World Transplant Games. There, these patients will join thousands of other athletes from around the world whose lives were saved by organ transplantation to compete for the gold. For more information about transplantation at Texas Children’s Hospital visit: www.texaschildrens.org/transplant.
Attending the Games with Texas Children’s are three renal transplant patients, two heart transplant patients, a lung transplant patient and a patient who received a kidney-liver transplant. They will participate during the week long, Olympic-style event that celebrates patient athletes who have received life-saving organ transplants.
“All of these participants had to adhere to stringent guidelines while on their respective organ waitlists which included anything from activity restrictions to travel restrictions, both of which can impact the entire family,” said Dr. John Goss, medical director of the transplantation program at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor of surgery and director of the Abdominal Transplant Center at Baylor College of Medicine. “After the surgery, most patients are able to resume normal activities within three months, and, as evidenced by the patients participating in the Games, can expect a full recovery.”
Nearly 1,500 athletes from more than 55 countries are expected to attend the World Transplant Games. The main goal of the event is to raise public awareness of the benefits of organ donation by demonstrating the health benefits that can be achieved through physical activities and sports after organ transplantation. The Opening Ceremonies on July 29 will include the parade of athletes and the lighting of the cauldron. The event concludes Aug. 3 with Closing Ceremonies where the Team Cup Award and Outstanding Athlete Award winners will be announced.
“Participating in the World Transplant Games provides these young men and women an opportunity to truly demonstrate how much their lives have changed by receiving a life-saving transplant,” said Helen Currier, director of Renal and Pheresis Services at Texas Children’s Hospital. “A major emphasis for our team, through our Quality of Life program, is to help recent transplant patients focus on having a normal life that is not defined by medical challenges.”
Recently, Texas Children’s Hospital entered into a management agreement with the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to help expand access to world-class pediatric care to that area. As a way to continue delivering on that promise to provide access to care and opportunities to those in the San Antonio market, Texas Children’s Hospital extended an invitation to a transplant patient from the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to attend the Games.