AN OSWESTRY boy has defied all the odds to achieve a podium place at the British Transplant Games, despite being told more than five years ago he had six months to live.

Oliver Harrison finished second in the 25-metre breast-stroke event at this year’s instalment of the annual games in Newport, Gwent.

The 11-year-old has gone on to pick up a medal at the games despite being told he had half a year to live in 2013.

He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) – a birth-defect affecting the blood flow through the heart.

By the age of two, Oliver had undergone four open-heart surgeries before being told he would need a heart transplant.

After treatment at both Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Newcastle Freeman Hospital, Ollie’s condition worsened.

However, Oliver and his family were given a lifeline when he underwent a successful heart transplant in August 2013.

He now continues to defy the odds after competing at the games this year, and not only achieving a podium finish, but also being awarded the Best All-Rounder award from the Freeman Hospital team.

Oliver’s mother, Emma Harrison, said the event was beautiful and inspiring.

“It is such an amazing event,” she said.

“It is very much a celebration of life and a chance to give thanks to the donors.

“Without their generosity, people like us wouldn’t have our beautiful children.

“Ollie is a miracle, he really has beat all the odds.”

The Bellan House pupil also competed in football, badminton, and reached the final of the 50m sprint.

But the highlight of the event for Oliver was reaching the podium, with the sport fanatic describing it as the best moment of his life.

It was also a great moment for Oliver’s family, with parents Emma and Adam and his younger brother Harry all cheering him on from the side.

Emma added: “The whole event was so emotional. To see all the amazing children there taking part who wouldn’t be here without their transplants.

“For Oliver to be able to compete in this event really inspires him and gives him hope to do whatever he wants to do.

“On top of that, it gives him the chance to meet people and make friends with those who have been along a similar journey to him.

“He was using a wheelchair until the age of four, so to get there and compete is amazing in itself, but to win a medal is incredible.

“It really is amazing; it was such an inspirational event to watch and both us and Oliver are really blessed to have this opportunity.”

Emma is hoping she can continue to raise awareness about organ donations and the importance of talking about the issue with loved ones.

“We think about our donor family every day,” she said.

“I think it’s so incredibly generous of them to make such a big decision and give Oliver the chance of life.

“I’m very passionate about raising awareness of the matter. I’d never really given it much though until it affected me and my family.

“I believe now that if you’re willing to accept an organ donation, then you should be willing to give.

“To give the chance of life to someone is the most precious gift.

“The number of friends and family who have spoken about it and decided they will donate when the time comes is great.”

Emma added however that the decision is something that everyone should make for themselves.

She explained: “I’m very adamant that I believe it is an individual’s decision – there’s no pressure.

“But I do think it’s a chance to do an amazing thing, to save both children and adults’ lives.”