Brave Yorkshire girl who is double transplant recipient set to achieve dream of swimming at British Transplant Games
A brave girl from Yorkshire who had a life saving liver transplant after being given just 48 hours to live is giving back by fundraising for the Leeds Children's Transplant Team ahead of the 2022 British Transplant Games - where she is due to compete.
Nine-year-old Violet Lawson Chhokar, from York, was born with a rare metabolic condition called Ornithine Transmycarbylase (OTC) Deficiency, which causes ammonia to rise in the blood stream, causing brain damage and if left untreated, can be fatal.
Violet suffered multiple admissions to PICU and was regularly hospitalised with high ammonia levels, requiring her to be listed on the Transplant waiting list aged two.
She received her first liver transplant six months later but, sadly, complications left her needing a second, urgent transplant within 48 hours to survive.
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She was placed on the Super Urgent Transplant List and received her second liver transplant the following morning because of a hero organ donor and their family who agreed to honour their wishes to donate.
Ahead of the long awaited 2022 British Transplant Games in Leeds, Violet has been fundraising for the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team, which she has been a part of since age three.
The costs of a team attending and competing in the British Transplant Games are huge, and all teams are reliant on fundraising to be able to attend.
Matthew Hick, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Leeds Children’s Hospital, set up the 100 Days Challenge so children could count down to the British Transplant Games and raise much needed funds for their team to attend.
Violet’s fundraising has been taking place for 100 days, with her drawing a daily doodle of her dog, George.
Her drawings have included George as children’s book characters, NHS hospital heroes, inspirational athletes and even as famous people such as David Bowie, Queen Elizabeth and Boris Johnson.
Violet will be competing for her team, the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team, by swimming 25m sprints in Breaststroke, Freestyle and Backstroke, with children from across Britain in the girls 9-11 age category.
She will also be competing in a 3k cycling time trial, again with children across Britain aged 9-11.
Violet will be supported and encouraged by her local club, Jorvik Swimming Club.
Violet’s Mum Helen told the YEP: “We are beyond proud of Violet’s determination and zest for life, qualities which Transplant Sport and the Leeds Children’s Transplant Team have helped to instil in her. Being involved in Transplant Sport has built Violet’s confidence over the years, helped her to accept her challenges and blessings as a transplant recipient and given her lifelong friends who stick together through the ups and downs of post-transplant life.”
In 2019 and 2020 when the British Transplant Games were cancelled due to Covid, Violet ran her 3k on the beach at sunset, to say thank you to the two organ donors and their families who she calls her ‘special angels’.
Ahead of the British Transplant Games, Violet is urging people to share their wishes with their friends and families about organ donation.
Violet's drawings can be found on Instagram: @dailyGeorge100