Clonmel teenager Andrew Duncan returned from the World Transplant Games in South Africa with an impressive haul of medals.
The Rockwell College student, who competed in the 15-17 years age category, was one of Ireland’s most successful athletes at the games in Durban, which attracted 1,000 organ transplant recipients from 50 countries.
He scooped gold in tennis and squash, silver in badminton and bronze in table tennis.
“He was absolutely delighted”, Andrew’s father Malcolm told The Nationalist.
“These were his first games so he went out there not knowing what to expect but to return with four medals, including two gold, was a marvellous achievement”, he said.
Andrew was accompanied on the trip to South Africa by his mother Audrey and the Irish team returned home to a tumultuous welcome at Dublin Airport on Monday.
The 15 year-old from Powerstown received a kidney transplant from his father in March of 2012.
His kidney ailment came as a great shock to Andrew and his family, as initially he had been admitted to the South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel for a minor procedure to remove a verucca from his foot when the condition came to light.
At first his illness was managed through a combination of diet and medication but after a while he was placed on dialysis and it became apparent he would need a kidney transplant.
The operations to remove the kidney from Malcolm and transplant it in Andrew’s body were performed at Beaumont and Temple Street hospitals.
The new kidney began to function immediately and he made a rapid recovery.
Since the operation Andrew has enjoyed a new lease of life. A gifted player of all racket sports, he is a member of Hillview Sports Club.
He now plans to enjoy the break until he returns to school at Rockwell College later this month, having sat his Junior Cert there in June.