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Double transplant recipient to line up for Ironman event

Kate Phillips born with congenital heart disease, she had open-heart surgery at 10 months old and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.

Then at 16-years-old glandular fever knocked her around even more.

After spending her entire life feeling “wiped out”, five years ago, aged 27, she received a heart and lung transplant.

Now Kate is about to make history as the first double transplant recipient to line up for her first Ironman event.

“I was extremely fortunate to get to 27 before having the transplant,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“Right before my transplant I couldn’t walk and talk at the same time.

“There were times when I couldn’t tie my shoelaces without stopping to take a breath.”

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Kate says she tries not to let her sickness define her.

“I love it, I just love sport and I’m just fortunate to be able to do it these days,” she said.

Kate will line up for the 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run in Cairns on Sunday.