An evening held in memory of a special wife and mum and dear brother who both died of sepsis has raised a fantastic £11,500 for research.
Gourock Dad, Raymond Swankie, lost his wife Louise last June, aged only 38. The 41-year-old was left devastated with her unexpected death and is bringing up their two-year-old son Finlay without her.
Louise, a fit and healthy teaching assistant who played football and bowls, was diagnosed with sepsis and underwent a five-hour operation but her condition deteriorated, and she passed away a few days later.
Raymond’s friend Chris Fraser lost her brother Paul to the same condition and decided to raise awareness about sepsis as well as funds for research.
The bash took place at the Spinnaker Hotel in Gourock, which is owned by Chris’ partner Stewart McCartney.
Raymond, 41, who works for Inverclyde Council, said:
“It was a lovely tribute to Louise and Paul. I am overwhelmed at the support we’ve received from everyone.
“It shows that when something happens so close, everyone pulls together to support the event.”
Chris organised the bash while Stewart did his bit by getting his head shaved in return for an auction bid of £500 made by Campbell Laird.
“The atmosphere was brilliant. There was a great crowd, and that made the night as well.
“It was well run and organised, and everyone was in high spirits. We couldn’t have asked for any better.”
Louise’s friends from Bishopton Ladies Football team came along as did her bridesmaid, friends and family. Paul’s friends and family also attended the event to remember their much-loved friend.
“We are raising the profile and awareness of sepsis as people don’t know what to look for. We want to thank everyone for their support.”
Morton supporter Paul had been diagnosed with lung cancer last year then he contracted sepsis and died a few weeks later, at the age of 60. Sepsis is triggered by the body’s response to an infection and attacks healthy tissues and organs.
The money raised from the Spinnaker function has been donated to Sepsis Research Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust (FEAT).
Chris, a senior procurement officer at West Dunbartonshire Council, said:
“We never thought we would hit such a fantastic amount while raising awareness of the symptoms of sepsis.
“My goal was initially £2,000, then £5,000 but we raised three times what I expected. If we can help save one life it will be well worth it.”
There was a quiz and auction, and local businesses and organisations donated a host of fantastic prizes from further afield, and Chris wants to thank everyone who donated auction prizes.
She also wants to thank friends Liz Doherty and Fiona Anderson who completed the Glasgow Kiltwalk and raised £1,000 which is included in the final total.
“The kindness of our local community is something we can be proud of.”
Pictured, from left, are Raymond, Chris, Colin Graham from Sepsis Research and
Pictured, from left, are Raymond, Chris, Colin Graham from Sepsis Research and Stewart McCartney.
For more details on The Spinnaker Hotel, click here.
This article and images appeared in the Greenock Telegraph.