Games ace Hilde has archery medals in her sights again

Hilde Paxton
Hilde Paxton

A courageous Borders woman, who received a new liver nine years ago, is taking a bow today (Thursday) at the British Transplant Games.

Archery ace Hilde Paxton will be hoping her opponents will be all a-quiver as she lines up this week in search of a gold medal.

The Games are taking place in Newport from today until Sunday and Hilde, who lives near Galashiels, is competing for the eighth time.

Now 69, Hilde’s life changed when she had a liver transplant, shortly after her 60th birthday and the birth of her first grandchild.

She had always been fit and healthy, falling ill for one of the few times in her life when she was 59.

She was still working for her own business at the time and thought it was merely old age.

She was later diagnosed with jaundice and had a shock to her liver.

Local doctors took blood samples from Hilde before she was swiftly rushed to Edinburgh Royal’s transplant department.

A build-up of poison in her body made Hilde delirious and she became fully unconscious a week later, while waiting for her transplant.

As a reminder, at least one person dies every day waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

However, a match for her kidney was found a week later and Hilde’s life was transformed forever, following a successful full liver transplant.

Organ donation and the ‘gift of life’ have since seen her welcome three further grandchildren into the world and complete a full recovery, becoming active once again.

It was only a year between her transplant and Hilde’s first British Transplant Games, at Belfast in 2011.

This week in Newport, she’ll be looking to go one better than the silver archery medal she has won at every previous Games.

Sponsored by Westfield Health, the Games feature transplant survivors from as young as five, who will compete in more than 25 sporting events for all abilities.

The Games are organised on behalf of Transplant Sport, a charity which raises awareness of the need for and the benefits of organ donation.