I was sad to read that one of my constituents, the brave Louise Davidson, lost her battle for life at the age of 22 after fighting cystic fibrosis from birth. Despite her own health problems Louise took it upon herself to front a national NHS campaign to push the message of organ donation across after her own life was transformed with a double lung transplant in 2012. Doctors told her family she had only hours to live before she went through the lifesaving operation which gave her two more precious years. Louise knew she was never going to live as long as others but she never gave up the fight and her legacy lives on as family and friends urge more people to sign up to the donor register. I have carried my card for more than 11 years now. We know that organ donors can save lives but unfortunately many people who think about signing up just don’t get round to it and the need for organs gets greater. I believe many lives could be saved if people have to opt out rather than opt in and I would urge everyone to think very seriously about supporting the whole concept of an opt out donor scheme here in Scotland. No-one will be forced to donate their organs- there will be many safeguards built in and as the legislation says we can opt out of the scheme. People lose their lives waiting on a transplant and we can all make a difference. By signing up for organ donation we can perhaps change the life of someone waiting on that one call to say a transplant is available. You can register by visiting www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
Two in a row
Congratulations to well known Barrhead building contractor AC Whyte and Co who saw off a strong field of competitors to pick up the coveted gong for Family Business of the Year at the 2014 Glasgow Business Awards. This is the second year running that the company has won this prestigious award and it coincides with their 40th anniversary. Three generations of family relations and hard graft has resulted in a successful and thriving local business. Well done to everyone involved.
I admire people who find time in their lives to become a volunteer of some kind and they deserve our appreciation so much for the job they do. So I was more than happy to put on record in the Scottish Parliament my congratulations to the Neilston and Uplawmoor First Responders. I know from talking to my colleagues Councillor Elaine Green and Councillor Paul O’Kane that First Responders are highly regarded by the local community. They have dealt with over 130 emergency call outs since becoming operational at the beginning of this year. In a short space of time the volunteers led by Stuart McLellan and Ross Nelson have made an incredible impact on the community, responding to medical emergencies until an ambulance can reach the scene. Community First Responders are trained to use specialised equipment such as automated external defibrillators and oxygen therapy devices. They can therefore intervene in situations such as a heart attack or an asthma attack until the professionals arrive. This significantly improves patient survival and recovery. We shouldn’t underestimate the contribution that these volunteers make. But they could do more with your help. The group is self-funded and if you would like to volunteer, make a donation or simply find out more you can visit www.naufirstresponders.co.uk.