King’s Lynn Rambler Malcolm Souza-Lewis gave the performance of a lifetime at the British Transplant Games 2016 in Liverpool. The 71-year won five gold medals for the first time. He has been competing in the British Transplant Games since 1991 and only missed two due to ill-health. He even thought he might have to miss these games.
Souza-Lewis explained: “In May I had an operation to remove a lesion on my back that may have been a precancerous one but luckily lab tests showed it was not. “However when the stitches were removed the site was found to be infected. “Since then I have had two courses of antibiotics and it has only just cleared up. That is one of the hazards of being on immunosuppressant drugs. “I was a bit worried about the weather in Liverpool because I do not perform well in wind and rain.” Luckily for him, on the final day (athletics day) it was reasonably dry.
He added: “The wind was strong and I did not get the best performances of my life but managed to win five gold medals for the first time in my transplant athletics career. “It is 28 years since my transplant and I intend to stop competing in two year’s time, so I was very glad to get the big five. “I have won four gold and one silver twice before but never the five. “
His events were javelin, discus, high jump, cricket ball throw and shot put. His team, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, won the trophy for overall best team and Souza-Lewis won the trophy for Best Super Veteran Male (70-plus age group). Souza-Lewis said: “Our team’s oldest member, Madge Alston, is going to be 90 years old next month and told me she had set the age bar high but I had to keep going. “After two kidney transplants, heart bypass, three abdominal surgical ops (including one in which part of my intestine was removed), a knee replacement, a gall bladder removal and the onset of type two diabetes 15 years ago, I think retirement from athletics at the age of 73 is more likely for me.” He hopes to be selected for the British team to go to the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, next year.
He concluded: “I had decided to make that my last World Games but the next World Games after that are scheduled to be in Newcastle/Gateshead in 2019, so I might change my mind, depending on whether the decrepit old body keeps going!”