After kidney transplant and liver problems, Venturan competes in Transplant Games

VENTURA COUNTY STAR | Tom Kisken
Tom Henry shows his form in the shot put. The Ventura athlete is competing in the World Transplant Games.(Photo: TOM KISKEN/THE STAR)
Tom Henry sees the World Transplant Games as a celebration of health.

There's a reason Tom Henry can't talk about Wayne Huss without crying.

If it wasn't for Huss, Henry wouldn't be talking about setting track and field records in the World Transplant Games this week in Malaga, Spain.

The 60-year-old athlete from Ventura wouldn't be alive.

When Henry was a senior in high school, polycystic kidney disease killed his father. Eventually, it ended the lives of his sister and his half-sister.

Henry survived the disease that shuts down kidney function because Wayne Huss died on March 17, 1994, at age 27. He was killed in a traffic collision that Henry said involved an impaired driver. Less than two days later, one of his kidneys was transplanted into Henry at UCLA Medical Center.

It was a gift that brought more gifts. A year after the transplant, Henry's son was born. Henry competed in a litany of national and world competitions for transplant recipients, winning dozens of medals. A 2006 TransWorld journal article speculated he could be one of the world's most honored transplant athletes. Continue reading

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