Anna Burnett obituary

Other lives: Sportswoman who excelled in world and national transplant games

My daughter, Anna Burnett, who has died aged 32 of a post-transplant disorder, packed more into her life than many people do over a much longer timespan.

Anna was born with a rare genetic condition, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, which affected her liver and resulted in jaundice. This was controlled by phototherapy, and for the first nine years of her life she needed to spend 16 hours out of 24 under special lights. But at the age of 10 her outlook was transformed when she had a liver transplant: freedom from the lights allowed her to pursue a wide variety of activities, which she always took up with huge energy, enthusiasm and determination.

In athletics, Anna competed in the 2003 World Transplant Games in France – becoming the 200m world champion and 4 x 100m relay world champion – and in the 2005 World Transplant Games in Canada, where she won a silver and a bronze. She also competed in the European Transplant Games in Germany, where she won two gold medals and set the world record for the 400m.

Additionally, Anna took part in the British Transplant Games each year from the 1997 games in Liverpool to the 2008 games in Sheffield, winning more than 60 medals in total, most of which were gold. She also participated in mainstream sport in the form of fencing, competing for Scotland at the Commonwealth Fencing Open Championships in Australia in 2010. Her other activities included swimming, motorcycle trials, classic car restoration and the renovation of a near-derelict flat in Edinburgh, tackling much of the practical work herself before she moved in.

Anna was born in Edinburgh and, after Balerno high school, studied for a degree in fashion design at Edinburgh College of Art. While there, she passed her PCV (passenger-carrying vehicle) driving test and worked during her vacations as a driver of double-deck open-top tour buses in Edinburgh – something I now do in retirement.

Two years ago Anna qualified as a teacher of art and design at Edinburgh University, after which she established herself as a popular, enthusiastic and effective staff member at Forrester high school in the city.

Anna is survived by me and her mother, Alexis, a communications manager with NHS Lothian, her brother, Matt, and her boyfriend, Scott Campbell.

John Burnett

The GuardianTramp

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