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Last Updated:  Saturday, 5 April, 2003, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Transplant teenager goes for gold
Murray Beehan
Murray won five golds at last year's British Transplant Games
A teenager who has battled through three kidney transplant operations has been picked for the Great Britain team competing at this year's World Transplant Games.

Murray Beehan, 16, from Builth Wells will represent his country at five events at the games, held at Nancy, France, from 19 July this year.

Murray earned his place after performing outstandingly at national level while representing Birmingham Children Hospital's renal unit.

After suffering kidney failure at birth, Murray was on a dialysis machine for four hours a day until the age of five, when his third kidney transplant was successful.

I'll try and do as well as I can although I don't know what to expect from the other competitors
Murray Beehan

After this operation in 1992, he played for Builth Wells junior football and rugby teams until the age of 13.

But he had to give up contact sports because his transplanted kidney in his abdomen, if damaged by a knock, could kill him.

Five Gold Medals

But this meant that the Builth Wells schoolboy could concentrate on athletics and swimming.

His hard work and perseverance culminated in him winning gold medals in the 100 metres sprint, long jump, and three swimming disciplines at last year's British Transplant Games held at Loughborough.

Murray said he was grateful that a kidney donor was able to give him the chance to lead a normal life.

"If I get any opportunities in sport or any other activities in the future I intend to take them," he added.

Murray Beehan long jumping
Murray's winning long jump of 4.02m at last year's games

Murray is currently studying for his GCSE exams, but will step up his training in the month before he travels to the 14th World Games.

The last Games were held in Kobe in Japan in 2001 when 826 athletes from 48 countries took part.

"I'll try and do as well as I can although I don't know what to expect from the other competitors," he said.

"I will try and limit the number of competitions I take part in before the games to make sure I don't get injured."

Murray's parents, Patrick and Alvina are proud of their son's achievement.

"This is a great achievement and he has come a long way from when he was ill, when doing anything was an achievement," said Patrick.


SEE ALSO:
Plea for more kidney donors
08 Jul 02  |  Wales
Kidney op death inquiry
01 Nov 01  |  Wales


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