AN ATHLETE who had a double lung transplant is hoping to pick up more medals at a sporting event in Durban.
Justine Laymond, from Broomfield, is flying out to the South African city at the end of the month to represent Great Britain in five events at the World Transplant Games from July 28 to August 4.
The 40-year-old will be participating in badminton doubles and mixed doubles, shot put, discus and lawn bowls.
Seven years ago Justine who has Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) had both her lungs transplanted having gone through a traumatic time which included being in a coma for two months.
Since the operation, she has completed a number of high octane activities including taking part in a round the world yacht race and picking up two bronze medals at the 2011 Transplant Games.
Justine said: “I think it is very important to show what happens to people after lung transplants or any other transplant.
“If I come home with a medal then I will be happy, but for me what this is about is going out there to compete and raise awareness of organ transplants and donations.
“One person can save nine peoples lives after they die if they donate their organs and you don’t need your organs in heaven so it is an amazing thing to do.”
Recently Justine has been diagnosed with another condition called Obliterative Bronchiolitis (OB) which causes her airwaves to shut down.
This has caused her some issues with her preparations for the games, but said joining a fitness boot camp has really helped her in the last few months.
“Since joining Essex Boot Camp this has helped my health and I am addicted to training outdoors,” she said.
“The instructors are very supportive, it is the best form of exercise I have ever done, each session is different, there is great banter, and I have made many friends.”
To follow Justine’s progress at the games, follow her blog on www.justinedoublelungs.blogspot.co.uk