Berwickshire man in the swim of things after transplant

A Chirnside man is continuing to make a medal-laden splash in the world of swimming more than a decade after he received a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 2:17 pm
Richard Adams with his haul of three golds, a silver and a bronze.
Richard Adams with his haul of three golds, a silver and a bronze.

Retired teacher Richard Adams, 72, recently competed in the 70-74 age group at the 2022 Scottish Masters and Age Group Swimming Championships, held at Tolcross Pool in Glasgow.

He won gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events, a silver in the 50m backstroke and a bronze in the 800m freestyle.

Richard, a member of the Transplant Sport Swimming Club, had a bone marrow transplant in 2010 at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, after having been diagnosed with the blood cancer Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

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He has since become a regular at transplant championships, both nationally and internationally, and at many other swimming galas and masters swimming championships.

Swimming not only helps keep him fit it’s a chance to keep the work of Transplant Sport in the spotlight.

Richard said: “If I had not had the transplant when I did, which was October 2010, I would probably have been dead by Christmas. It was quite a rapid disease.

“I was kept going with two blood transfusions a week through that year.

“I now normally train four days a week at the local pool, which is Duns.

“My first actual gala at the age of 64 was the British Transplant Games in Bolton, from where I came away with a gold, silver and bronze.

“Then that October I got a letter to say I’d been selected for the British team, so I went to the World Transplant Games in 2015 in Argentina.

“We only get to compete in the transplant games once a year and we were told by the coaches that it was a good idea to get into masters swimming because there are competitions all year long and at least you get to compete, which is what I’ve done.”

Transplant Sport aims to help return to fitness people who have had transplants or are living donors and also to promote transplant and organ donation.