A PLUCKY Tayport woman is to brave the icy waters of the Tay on New Year’s Day in aid of the world’s largest charity hospital ship.
Isabel McGuire (49) is taking part in the Broughty Ferry Dook as the first of her charity challenges in aid of international charity Mercy Ships, which provides free medical care and humanitarian aid to some of the world’s poorest people.
And the Dook is just the start of Isabel’s fund-raising efforts in 2012 as she hopes to raise hundreds of pounds for the charity, which operates the world’s largest charity hospital ship, the Africa Mercy.
She is also planning to walk the West Highland Way as well as a sponsored walk over the Tay Bridge and a sponsored car wash.
The Africa Mercy has just finished a 10-month outreach in Sierra Leone and will head to Togo in January 2012, offering life- saving surgeries and vital medical care to thousands of people.
Isabel said: “I chose to support Mercy Ships because it’s such an excellent charity, giving medical assistance to people in Africa who have little or no access to free local services.
“Now that my children have grown up I have the freedom to travel again and do my own thing!
“I will turn 50 next year and wish to do something special for myself and others.
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than to be involved with a charity such as Mercy Ships.”
Once a Danish rail ferry, the Africa Mercy has been converted into a state-of-the art hospital ship with six operating theatres, X-ray facilities and CT scanner, a pharmacy and a laboratory.
There is capacity for 78 in-patients with four wards and a small intensive care unit.
It is staffed by an international crew of dedicated volunteers from over 40 nations ranging from seamen, engineers, surgeons, doctors and nurses.
The surgeons onboard perform operations, such as cleft lip and palate, cataract and crossed eye corrections, facial reconstructions, club feet and dental treatments, on children and adults.
To support Isabel, please donate at www.justgiving.com/Isabel-McGuire