Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The youngest member of Team GB says World Transplant Games are a chance to take on "whole entire world"

  • World Transplant Games: hosted by Newcastle and Gateshead between 17-24 August 2019.

The World Transplant Games are coming to the North East this summer. Celebrated as the second chance of life, the Games demonstrate the success of transplant surgery and promote awareness of organ and tissue donation.

This year 2,237 athletes from 60 countries will be taking part in 15 sports across Tyneside and Wearside, including archery, athletics, tennis and even a virtual triathlon.

Phoebe Pace is Team GB’s youngest competitor.

This nine-year-old swimmer from Gateshead is rearing to compete in the pool against athletes from all over the world.

“Every single country you can think of it, it’s actually 63 countries”, she says. "So it's basically 63 countries of this whole entire world that I'm competing against."

Every day we're bringing you profiles of one of our region's competitors Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Diagnosed with liver failure when she was only a year old, Phoebe would not have lived without a transplant.

"It was very bad, she wouldn’t have survived…”, says Phoebe’s mum Lesley-Anne Pace.

It was very traumatic, it was very stressful and difficult. And we accepted and we adapted and we moved on and we’re here today and Phoebe is the little girl that she because of what she’s had to deal with.

– Lesley-Anne Pace
Phoebe calls Bonnie Bonnaviat, a 79-year-old women who shared her donor organ, a Credit: Family photo

Phoebe shared her donated liver with Bonnie Bonnaviat, a 79-year-old woman who now lives in Florida.

Phoebe and Bonnie have met - Phoebe calls her a “liver sister.”

“She has quite a lot of the liver but I’ve only got a small percentage of it”, Phoebe says.

Speaking to ITV TyneTees from the United States, Bonnie said:

She’s really an amazing, amazing child. And her mother is gosh, [she's] got to be the world’s best mum. I just feel that they’re both an extended part of my family now… She’s like a poster child for organ donation and the transplant games.

– Bonnie Bonnaviat

More on this story