Death-dodging teacher entering snooker event at Transplant Games

Graham Brushett puts in some practice at the snooker table

Graham Brushett puts in some practice at the snooker table

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A TEACHER who has dodged death will be hoping to be right on cue when the Transplant Games comes to Bolton.

Graham Brushett, who received a heart and kidney transplant in 2006 after both organs failed, is entering the snooker event.

It will be his debut at the games and he is not holding out much hope of walking away with glory.

But the 59-year-old, who is deaf in one ear and unable to walk without a stick following a stroke, is simply grateful to be taking part after his life was saved.

The former politics and business studies teacher at Rivington and Blackrod High School is now urging Boltonians to sign the organ donor register in their droves as the games loom.

The Bolton News launched its Sign Up To Save Lives campaign in January in a bid to persuade 5,000 people from the town to become organ donors by the time the games start on August 7.

Mr Brushett said: “Our team manager has managed to persuade me after a number of years to do something and I’m going to do the snooker.

“It will be my debut, and there is not really many events I could do other than the snooker because of my mobility.

“I am absolutely rubbish but never mind.”

The father-of-one first developed a racing heartbeat while playing squash in 1993 but was treated with a pacemaker for several years, staying in work and continuing to play sport.

But in 2001 his heart failed, forcing him to leave work.

After suffering a stroke, a lack of oxygen to the kidneys left Mr Brushett with kidney failure and needing dialysis treatment.

His life was saved in 2006 when he received transplants using organs donated by a young man from the North East.

Mr Brushett added: “The event is a real showcase for organ donation — these people are doing extrememly active things at an incredibly high level.

“They are quite remarkable but we must remember, without their transplants they would not be here to compete, so please sign up.”

To Sign Up To Save Lives, go to the NHS organ donor register at organdonation .nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.

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