Heart transplant recipient participants in Transplant Games of America, encourages others to join him

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 6:53 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As the world watches the Olympics, one Jackson heart transplant recipient is preparing for his own athletic competition.

He’s putting his body to the test after the life changing surgery in 2014 and is enlisting other transplant recipients to join him in participating in the Transplant Games of America.

Timothy Lewis will be participating in 21 events at this year’s Transplant Games of America. “This will be my fourth competition,” said Lewis.

The 57-year-old is celebrating eight years of a successful heart transplant surgery. Since 2016, he’s competed with Team Mississippi in the Olympic style events.

“I received life, and I participate in these games so I can give back the enthusiasm and motivation back to people who have once suffered from this sickness, and now they don’t have to.”

Lewis persuaded John Wilkerson to join the team. The 59-year-old had a kidney transplant in 2019.

“Transplant is a good thing,” said Wilkerson. “It extends life, don’t know how long it will extend it. But if you do what the doctor says, just take care of yourself, don’t go back out there doing what you used to do, and you should have a long good life.”

Angel Meeks received a heart transplant in January 2020. The 42-year-old will also be competing for the first time.

“Timothy invited me and he’s a transplant survivor,” said Meeks. “I think it will be fun for me to go and have fun and do some of the sporting events which I’ve never done before, but I think it will be fun.”

Team Mississippi will be participating in the Transplant Games of America July 29 - August 3 in San Diego. More than 13,000 transplant recipients from across the country are expected to compete in the games.

Lewis is reaching out to other organ transplant recipients in the state to sign up for the games. He’s hoping sponsors will step in to help with this year’s competition.

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