BRENDA Roberts' life changed forever in Leeds a decade ago.

And last weekend, the Ruthin-Pwllglas Golf Club member returned to the Yorkshire city to strike gold.

Brenda, who turns 70 next week, won the golf competition at the British Transplant Games.

Back in September 2012, Brenda underwent a liver transplant at St James' Teaching Hospital in Leeds, saying it saved her life in more ways than one.


Denbighshire Free Press: Brenda RobertsBrenda Roberts


"I was fit, working full time and playing golf when my routine blood test results came back showing that there was a problem," she said.

"Following further tests it showed that my liver was now deteriorating rapidly and only a transplant could save me.

"I'd just celebrated my 60th birthday and, as soon as I hit that milestone, I went downhill fast.

"I was hospitalised in St James’ Teaching Hospital in Leeds and was told I wouldn't be leaving without a transplant."

A two-day assessment in Leeds in May 2012 resulted in the diagnosis of primary billiary cirrosis.

She was placed on the transplant list in July and underwent her transplant two months later.

Since receiving her transplant, Brenda has been a regular competitor at the British Transplant Games.

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Taking part since 2014, all of her success is to honour her donor and her family - and she is keen to stress the importance of people having conversations with their families about organ donation.

"One of the best ways I can thank my liver donor is by keeping myself as healthy as possible," said Brenda.

She added: "I would like to reach out to all those people who are awaiting a transplant.

"They and their loved ones are going through a very difficult time while they wait for that call to tell them that they are to receive the 'gift of life'.

"My message is, don't give up hope.

"I only had 48 hours left to live when my transplant took place.

"Life after transplant is good, new doors open as you enjoy better health.

"At the Games, I make the most amazing new friends each time I attend, all with their own story to tell."

Since she started competing in the British Games in 2014, Brenda has won a magnificent seven gold medals.

Brenda says she found it emotional returning to Leeds.

"You only play singles in the British Games and we represent our hospital," said Brenda.

"I represented Leeds adults. We were the home team. When we had the opening ceremony on the Thursday night in Millennium Square we were held back, Leeds adults and Leeds children, and we were the last ones to go into the square. We all had a huge cheer.

"I found that very emotional."


Denbighshire Free Press: Brenda Roberts' collection of World Transplant Games medalsBrenda Roberts' collection of World Transplant Games medals


Making the event even more special was the fact that Brenda's caddie during the competition was her sister, Wendy.

Brenda, whose golfing handicap is 13.5, said: "She is good.

"She feeds me all the way round!"

Looking ahead, Australia in 2023 is in Brenda's sights.

Next year's World Transplant Games will be held in the Western Australian city of Perth between April 15 and 21.

Previous appearances in the global event have yielded gold and bronze medals in Argentina, gold in Malaga and silver in Newcastle.

"My first Games was Argentina and it was winter and it was five layers of clothing," she added.

"I think Perth in April will be good!"