Grainne Walsh 'I can't believe how quickly it was all over'

22 May 2017

Grainne Walsh, Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Children's Transplantation at Evelina London, tells us about her amazing job and explains why she took part in the St Thomas’ Abseil!

three happy fundraisers wearing penguins costumes and abseil harness holding penguin toy in the middle
Grainne Walsh, left, with the rest of her team

'Going over the edge was really really tough, but I knew I’d do it, as friends and family have been so generous. I’ve raised an amazing £3,000!'

‘When children have an organ transplant, lifelong medicines and hospital appointments are a vital part of life to help prevent organ rejection. I work closely with my team to give our patients the highest quality care possible. However, the fact is that the children I care for here at Evelina London will be patients for life, never getting fully away from us. On a daily basis I share the rollercoaster of transplantation with the children and their families with all its highs, lows and scary bends!

‘Every year, the Evelina London VIPs compete at the British Transplant Games. Our children’s transplant sports team are called the Evelina London VIPs as we think they are very important people, patients and penguins (our transplant clinic is in the penguin zone of our hospital and my transplant clinic consulting room has penguins, from all over the world, donated by our VIP children and staff.

‘The Transplant Games are a highlight of our year. Getting fit after transplant surgery is really important and the Games allow our children to compete in both fun and serious sport. Many transplant recipients can feel different from their friends, especially teenagers. The Games allow them to train and compete with their peers, who have been through similar experiences.

Grainne's challenge

‘I abseiled down the side of St Thomas’ Hospital to raise money to help our Evelina London VIPs compete at this year's Games. Going to the Games is not cheap but is so important. We don’t ever want money issues to prevent a child or their family from experiencing the event.

‘I had never abseiled before so this was a serious personal challenge. The thought of it made my heart race a little faster than it should! I was delighted that my colleague Dr Caroline Booth, one of our consultant paediatric nephrologists, joined!

‘The children I care for will be patients for life and our team try to support them to reach their potential in life, whatever that may be.’

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