James’ family says thanks

The Murray family from Crail makes the presentation to Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance.
The Murray family from Crail makes the presentation to Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance.

A bereaved East Neuk family is channeling its grief into positive fundraising for the charity emergency team that came to its aid.

Crail lobster fisherman James Murray was just 44 when he died of a heart attack last year. But the continued and determined efforts of paramedics from Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance won enough time for James’ loving relatives to say their goodbyes.

James was in Ninewells Hospital for two days before his life-support machine was switched off. And his wife and children believe the actions of Scotland’s only charity-funded helicopter air ambulance, both at the house and in flight, allowed him to have his loved ones with him in his final hours.

Widow Annette and children Michelle (18) and David (15) – along with James’ sister Sharon Petrie – recently visited the Perth Airport base of the frontline emergency helicopter crew to present a cheque for £1415 to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. The money was raised at a coffee morning in Crail and a local domino tournament in memory of James.

Now the family has vowed the fundraising will continue “indefinitely”, with participation in the Glasgow 10K Run next on the agenda.

“Channelling our efforts towards supporting a charity that was there to support us has helped us all to cope with our grief a little better,” said Annette, a nurse.

She told of how she was called at work by distressed daughter Michelle to say something was wrong with James.

“When I arrived at the house I could tell it was really serious,” she explained. “First Responders and land crew paramedics worked hard to keep him alive and incubated James to keep air flowing, but there was only a very weak pulse.

“When I heard that SCAA was on its way, I knew James would be taken to hospital quickly. It would have taken at least 50 minutes by road but he was airlifted by SCAA to Ninewells in only seven minutes.”

Unfortunately, despite intensive care, James never regained consciousness and died two days later, with his family at his bedside.

“Without SCAA being there, James would probably have died at the house and his loved ones would never have had the chance to visit and say their goodbyes,” said Annette.

“We want to help ensure the charity is there for other families. It needs donations to keep flying to those who need them most. I can’t praise the pilots and paramedics enough for the amazing work they do.”

Annette and her family also thanked the people of Crail and surrounding area for their support.