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Sutton Valence pupil Ben Stuart from Smarden, Ashford, wins gold and bronze at British Transplant Games in Bolton

By Ed McConnell

A Maidstone school boy’s summer break proved more fruitful than expected when he picked up two medals at the British Transplant Games.

Sutton Valence pupil Ben Stuart, 15, won a gold medal in archery and a bronze medal in tennis at the July games in Bolton.

Ben received a transplant from his father James three years ago, after being diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of eight.

Ben Stuart ,15, who has won an gold and bronze medal at the recent British Transplant Games in archery and tennis

His condition has meant Ben has been unable to take part in most contact sports and team games.

Ben, from Smarden, near Ashford, took part in the Games as part of a team from Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital where he underwent the life-saving surgery.

The 15-year-old GCSE pupil’s success in what was his first games means he is already planning a return in 2015.

Ben, who was also diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of three and underwent years of chemotherapy, said: “I was competing against hundreds of other people from all over the UK, but I wasn’t particularly nervous. It was great experience and was great to meet up with some of the other children I had met occasionally at the London clinics.”

Sutton Valence School pupil Ben will return next year to defend his medals

Ben’s sister Amie, 11, also suffers from the debilitating condition and will go on to the transplant waiting list when she turns 12.

Ben and Amie attend the school along with 14-year-old sister Jemma.

Ben’s mother Vicki said: “We had already booked a family holiday to Cornwall which coincided with the Games, so Ben headed off on the train with the team and we went in the opposite direction. I don’t suppose we had thought seriously about the prospect of him winning a medal, let alone a gold. Naturally, we were thrilled.”

Headmaster Bruce Grindlay said: “We were delighted to learn of Ben’s success. He is a determined, successful young man and someone who will be a great role model to his fellow students. We wish him continued success.”

Ben's gold and bronze medals from this year's games in Bolton
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