Transplant Patients Compete in Olympic-like Games

This story is a part of

Human Needs

This story is a part of

Human Needs


World Transplant Games underway (Photo: World Transplant Games)

Athletes from more than 50 countries have travelled to this country to compete in the World Transplant Games.

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Here's what one of them, Kenyan swimmer Lorna Irungu, had to say:

"I was diagnosed with Lupus 17 years ago and that led to me to having kidney failure, and then having a transplant. Over the past 15 years, I've had three kidney transplants and having gone through four major surgeries. Swimming has been a great form of therapy to strengthen my back and then I just thought, 'Hey, why not compete in it?'"

So can you name the country that's hosting the unusual sports competition among transplant patients?

It's a fitting choice.

Back in 1967, the first ever human heart transplant happened in a hospital there. It even made the cover of Life Magazine.

So can you name the country where Doctor Christian Barnaard made medical history by performing the revolutionary procedure?

The answer we're looking for is South Africa — where that first ever heart transplant was carried out nearly 50 years ago.

So it seems appropriate that the World Transplant Games are being held this week in Durban, South Africa.

Team USA manager, Gary Green, says he's thrilled to be able to see athletes from around the world competing after receiving life saving organ transplants.