Potters Bar woman wins gold
08:00 26 July 2010
A WOMAN who was minutes from death when she was given a double lung transplant, has defied the odds to win a gold medal.
Justine Laymond, who grew up in Potters Bar, won six medals including a gold in the long jump, at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games in Vaxjo, Sweden.
She has made a remarkable recovery back to full fitness – but the fiesty 37-year-old is not stopping there.
Having been told by doctors her donor lungs would not allow here to ever play squash, because of its demand on the cardiovascular system, she was determined to do just that.
And she is now set to compete in the British Transplant Games in August playing squash, as well as sprinting, badminton, long jump and the relay.
Although the competition may be harder, with all donor recipients able to take part.
Four years ago this month Justine, who now works in Potters Bar for her father’s company, was dying.
She had the rare condition Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, had spent months in hospital, survived 15 lung collapses and weeks in a coma.
Now fighting back she told the Potters Bar Edition: “I know because of my illness I can’t take life for granted.
“My donor saved my life. Playing squash is one thing I was told I could never do because it’s just too much for my lungs. But I’m a very positive person.”
n Justine hopes people will be inspired by her story. If you are and want to sign, call the NHS donor line on 0300 123 23 23.