Matthew received a life-changing kidney transplant in April 2015 following eight years of poor health due to kidney failure. During these eight years daily life was tough and sports near impossible and for Matthew who had always been a keen sportsman the loss of his health and fitness was a major blow.
Following transplantation, Matthew discovered Transplant Sport, an organization who encourage transplant recipients to get healthy and compete at national level in the British Transplant Games. As a former sprint swimmer, Matthew was determined to regain his fitness and enjoy the thrill of competition once more.
Swim training began in Spring 2016, in preparation for the Liverpool Transplant Games, during the tournament Matthew excelled in the pool and won 2 gold medals in sprint swim events, these times were good enough for Matthew to be selected to swim for Team GB & NI and compete in the World Transplant Games in Malaga 2017. As Matthew increased the intensity of his swim training in preparation for Malaga he began to struggle with shoulder pain, to overcome this obstacle to training he turned to pilates taught by Nisha Srivastava.
After just 4 weeks of pilates, the shoulder pain had gone, his body position in the water improved due to increased core strength, recovery from training became easier and swim times were getting faster. In June 2017 Matthew went to Malaga and returned with 7 gold medals in sprint swim events, breaking world transplant records in 6 of these and won the Outstanding Male Athlete of the tournament award. Success didn’t stop there, Matthew also won gold medals in all sprint swims at the National Transplant Games in Lanarkshire in July 2017. Pilates is now a regular part of Matthews training and lifestyle, his aim being to live life to the full for himself, his family and his donor.