The liver transplant that won medals in its “second life”

our armed forces are full Commendable stories of improvement, dedication and delivery. And not only in the military field but also in sports, representing the highest values ​​that any athlete should possess.

In the army, like the Spanish Armed Forces as a whole, there are people who combine their professional activity with sports practice, beyond the instruction and training, or the maintenance of the psychological conditions necessary for their work. They are bona fide elite athletes, even if they do not receive the recognition of civilian stars. Various units of the Spanish Army enjoy enormous prestige in international missions, but little is known about their illustrious history of medals and awards in countless sporting disciplines. Cruel competitions such as football, triathlon, jiu-jitsu, dressage, canoeing or the Spartan race are part of their achievements.

But for some people, sports is not only a discipline to achieve success, but also a new life. this is the matter Commander Sanchez said that the Army is responsible for remembering this week on its social networks.

And not for less than that. Doctors gave him less than a year to live in 2013 due to a hepatitis C infection he contracted while on an international mission as an army commander. A decade later, with a liver transplant, former commander Carlos Sanchez Montes declared himself spanish runner up javelin throwing. After leaving the army, discipline became his “second life”.

“The doctors told me I had at least a year to live. I was absolutely clear that I was going to die.” This is how the honest and powerful Carlos Sánchez Montes recalled the year 2012, when he was diagnosed with hepatitis C, in an interview on Antena3. However, the generosity of an anonymous donor, to whom he now dedicates each of his sporting successes, allowed him to do so. There is a second chance.

spanish runner up

As an athlete of the Pontevedra Gymnastic Society, Last June, Carlos won a silver medal in the javelin throw at the Spanish Masters Athletics Championships. Held in Jerez de la Frontera with a mark of 38.48 metres. As if this was not enough, the Galician reached fourth place in the five kilogram shot put (+60 years category) with 10.91 metres.

Very far

His ordeal began in 2000, when, during a mission as an army commander in Kosovo, he was wounded by a local man with a razor blade. He maintained a fairly normal life despite being assigned to other international missions until he began feeling unwell in 2012. Until he was forced to retire in the act of service, leaving his post in the VII “Galicia” Brigade. He even participated in other missions like Pakistan or Afghanistan. “When they did the test my liver was completely destroyed.”, he belongs. Everything came from that cut in the Balkans. After a long wait a donor came.

After the operation and proper rest, this Galician found a great ally in sport to improve physically and psychologically. “At first I started just walking, and then I jumped to running and eventually, I took up the different throwing disciplines of athletics. -Spear, discus, weight and hammer-With the help of my friend and coach Santi Ferrer.

Since then, he has not wasted any time. In 2017, he participated for the first time in any competition of this sport at the World Transplant Championship and already managed to finish third. This was followed by several other podium finishes, such as at the 2018 European Transplant Championships, where he won gold, silver and bronze medals in various categories, or The Galician Championship of Master Athletes – over 35 years old -, in which he won first place in his category – without forgetting that this competition is not only for transplant recipients, but for the entire general population.

His experience led him to found, together with other colleagues, the Galician Association of Transplanted and Dialysis Athletes. His aim is now at international competitions where he assures that it will be a matter of pride to represent Spain.

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