Ten-sational transplant recipient Ellie Greenwood clocks up impressive medal haul

Ten-sational transplant recipient Ellie Greenwood clocks up impressive medal haul

By Michael Upton | 10/09/2019

Ten-sational transplant recipient Ellie Greenwood clocks up impressive medal haul

A YOUNG swimmer who had a liver transplant as a baby returned from two major championships during her summer holidays with a huge haul of TEN medals.

Ellie Greenwood (pictured) made good use of the time off from school to scoop six golds, three silvers and a bronze at the British Transplant Games at the end of the July and the World Transplant Games over the August bank holiday weekend.

Ellie, who underwent surgery at just seven months old, has been competing in sporting events since she was two.

Now aged 14, the star swimmer took two golds, three silvers, and a bronze at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle, smashing two world records in the process.

It came just a month after she won four golds at the British Transplant Games in Newport.

Mum Tracy, of Kimberworth, said: “This is all thanks to one person — her donor. Without she would not be doing what she’s doing.

“All we know is he was a man in his 30s from the north of England. We write him letters to let him know what she’s been up to and what she’s achieved.

“It’s something I think about all the time. She might not even be here but she’s living life to the full.”

It’s a far cry from when when Ellie’s worried parents Tracy and Antony waited anxiously for the results of their baby’s operation.

She had already had four months of chemotherapy for cancer when she had her transplant in 2005 but made a speedy recovery.

Tracy said: “She has been taking part in the British Games since she was two years old and enjoys meeting up with others that have gone through the same issues as hers.

“This was Ellie’s second World Games after competing in Malaga in 2017, where she got one gold and a bronze. 

“The team as a whole topped the medal table with 205 gold, 152 silver and 127 bronze.

“When we went to our first British Games, Ellie was just two and there were only five members of the Leeds regional team but it has grown and grown and last year there were 47.

“In the World Games, the British children’s team has 330 members alone.

“The standard is quite high. The selection process is tough and the competitors take it very seriously.”

Tracy said Ellie, who swims three times a week, appeared to be cool and calm in the run-up to a major contest, benefitted from little pep talks at the finals to keep her focussed.

“We keep reminding her of the end goal of getting a medal at the end,” she said.

Tracy said Ellie planned to take her medals with her to Winterhill School at some point to show them off to her classmates.

But she has spent little time resting on her laurels and was back in the pool this week ahead of a gala this weekend.