Hamish heads to transplant games

Ranfurly boy Hamish Crossan, who is heading  to Switzerland to take part in the World Transplant...
Ranfurly boy Hamish Crossan, who is heading to Switzerland to take part in the World Transplant Winter Games. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Ten years after making history by becoming New Zealand’s youngest liver transplant, Ranfurly youngster Hamish Crossan is set to make international tracks for another significant event.

Hamish (10) is the only New Zealander chosen to attend next year’s World Transplant Winter Games in Switzerland, and will compete in curling and skiing in the January 7-12 games.

The event also incorporates the Nicholas Green Camp, a training camp for games attendees established in memory of Nicholas Green, a young American boy who was killed in Italy and whose family donated his organs. Hamish said he was looking forward to both the sporting experience of the international games and meeting others who had also had transplants.

Hamish, who lives on a farm near Ranfurly and attends St John’s School in the town, was born with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile duct between the liver and the small intestine does not form. He does not have a gallbladder.

As a baby, Hamish became the youngest New Zealander to receive a  liver transplant.
As a baby, Hamish became the youngest New Zealander to receive a liver transplant.
Hamish and his mother Tracy Crossan ended up making history when on July 24, 2007, at Auckland Hospital, aged 5  months, Hamish became the youngest New Zealander to receive a new liver and Mrs Crossan the first live donor mother.

Hamish was now in good health, taking immuno-suppressant medication twice daily but otherwise being a "normal farm boy" with his younger brother Ryan (9),  Mrs Crossan said.

The family was excited about the opportunities Hamish would have at the camp, which was held to help transplant children gain confidence and independence, learn or improve winter sport skills and discover the mountain environment.

Hamish will fly to the games with his liver specialist doctor, Dr Helen Evans, of Auckland’s Starship Hospital.  She will be a medic at the Swiss camp.

Hamish will stay in a chateau in the Swiss ski resort of Anzere, and said he was "very happy and excited" about his trip, which is being sponsored by the Immune Deficiencies Foundation of New Zealand.He planned to do his "best" at the Swiss camp, and hopefully complete a forward flip on skis for the first time.

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