Bognor Regis double transplant survivor runs the marathon

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Marathon runner Louisa Winslade has become a world-beater from Bognor Regis.

Louisa has become the first known double lung transplant survivor to finish the London Marathon.

She completed the gruelling 26.2-mile course around the capital in 6hr, 33min and 45sec in spite of having cystic fibrosis.

She said: “I felt relief when I crossed the finishing line. At first, I couldn’t believe I had done it.

“It doesn’t even seem real now that I have finished the marathon.

“My medal is in my hand and my bruises are on my feet and it was definitely worth it.

“It makes me proud that I completed the race. I did it for all cystic fibrosis patients and all transplant patients.

“Ten years ago, I had just started using oxygen and eight years ago I was in a wheelchair, on oxygen 24/7 and couldn’t even walk out of the front door to the car.”

Louisa’s achievement in Sunday saw her finish 33,354th out of some 36,500 starters. It has also enabled her to raise more than £3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The potentially-fatal lung condition leads to insulin-dependent diabetes to cause a further complication for those seeking to run long distances.

But Louisa, 26, of Chichester Road, began training for the big race 18 months ago. She stepped up her efforts last August after she had returned from a long stay in Australia.

This enabled her to jog about two-thirds of the way around the marathon course and walk the rest of the distance.

“The adrenaline kept me going and the support of the crowd and the other runners,” bank customer adviser Louisa said.

“I also had messages from my brothers and my mother while I was running because I hit the wall three or four times.”

She needed some treatment after the race because of her injuries, but overtook many others who had been forced to abandon their marathon dreams on the course.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Louisa’s transplant. Her condition deteriorated in the early years of this century before a suitable set of lungs became available.

She has no idea about the donor’s identity but the operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge gave her the chance to experience life to the full.

She has never looked back in spite of taking a cocktail of more than

50 drugs to stop her body rejecting the lungs and keep her cystic fibrosis at bay.

Louisa entered the marathon with her work colleague, Kelly Davies, 31, from Emsworth.

Injury problems blighted Kelly’s entry and she completed the race in 6hr 38min.