Frank Cairney says Southern General sister Sheila
Mathieson helped save him.
He may be nearly 87, but to Frank Cairney of Cardonald every day
is a gift.
"I've been given another chance," he says warmly.
And Frank believes he owes that chance to senior staff nurse Sheila
Mathieson and the rest of the team at Ward 65 of the neurosurgical
unit at the Southern General.
For it was Sheila and fellow staff nurse Laura McKinnon who saw
the warning signs and sent him for the scan that saved his life.
Last October, as Celtic fan Frank was leaving Parkhead, he had
a cardiac arrest and was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
After an operation for a pacemaker, the widower seemed to be making
a good recovery and went home to his daughter, Madeline Wilson,
her husband, Andy, and granddaughter, Frances (8).
However, at the time no one realised that Frank had cracked his
head when he fell.
He had been home for about six weeks when his family saw he had
Fortunately Madeline and her husband are both nurses and they rushed
him to the Western Infirmary, fearing he'd had a stroke. There,
they were told he was suffering from a subdural haemorrhage and
had only a 20% chance of survival.
Frank had an operation and was home again recovering when his son,
Martin, visited staff on the ward to deliver some chocolates.
Sheila says: "We asked how Frank was doing and he said that
his father was a wee bit muddled. We thought it might be another
collection of blood so arranged for him to come for a scan next
The suspicion was right, Frank was operated on again and bounced
The staff of Ward 65 know Frank is normally as sharp as a tack
because he has been a regular in the ward - delivering the Catholic
newspaper - for the past 30 years.
Madeline said: "Frank has defied everyone. It is all down
to the care he received in Ward 65. Sheila was just wonderful."
Sheila paid tribute herself to Sister Lilian Peters, who runs the
She says: "Ward 65 provides very, very good care."
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