Darren Lackie (2002) died on 3rd April 2011 as the result of a tragic accident while on holiday in Portugal. He was 21 years old. A Lance Corporal in the Black Watch Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Darren was on leave from the forces. He served in Afghanistan during the battalion's tour of duty in 2009 and was in training for a possible return to Afghanistan. He was commended for his efforts there and his CO described him as one of the rising stars of the regiment. He is survived by his parents and two brothers.
Bridget Riedl-Laing (1989) died in a tragic accident in Peru on 15th March 2003. Bridget was a gifted artist. On leaving school she decided to spend a year travelling and settled finally in Salzburg, Austria, where she met and married her husband, Rupert. The couple had three children, aged 4, 2 and 1. They had decided to undertake a challenging journey down the west coast of the USA, through Central America and on down - they hoped to Chile. While they were canoeing in Peru, tragedy struck and Bridget drowned. Her body was found downstream a month after the accident occurred.
Published in the Fife Herald on Friday 23 March 2012 11:00
A young Ceres boy who has finally beaten a brain tumour that nearly cost him his life, has vowed to help his mum organise a special fun day to raise money for the charities which have helped him.
In March last year, Jordan Laing (13) was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma — a brain tumour which had spread down his spine.
Jordan, a pupil at Bell Baxter High School, had been receiving treatment for severe migraines for seven months before his mum Norma Hopkins finally managed to persuade doctors at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to carry out an MRI scan.
She said: ‘Jordan was in such pain and I knew it had to be something more than a migraine.
‘I finally managed to get a doctor to listen to me and Jordan was taken for a scan. That was when they saw how big the tumour was and he was rushed off to Edinburgh and operated on immediately.
‘I was later told that if they hadn’t done it then Jordan would probably only have had two days left to live as the pressure being put in his heart was immense.
‘I have a family history of brain haemorrhages so I knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t understand why the hospital wouldn’t scan Jordan. It was so frustrating and he could’ve died.’
Over the last year Norma has spent much of her time with Jordan at the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh where he received most of his treatment.
‘Jordan has been really brave and he has had some relapses when we feared we might lose him, but he’s pulled through and we got the good news recently that the cancer has now gone into remission,’ she said. ‘He still has some way to go to recover completely and because he has hydrocephalus has a shunt inside his skull to stop excess fluid accumulating. If the shunt stops working Jordan would need to go to hospital immediately – we can’t take any chances.
‘We have had a long hard year and we are very pleased that Jordan’s treatment was successful. We couldn’t have got through this time without the support of family and friends and have been overwhelmed by the support we received from the community as well.’
Thanking everyone at the Sick Kids for their support, Norma said: ‘The hospital has been fantastic and the charities which have helped us have made everything a bit easier.’
Norma explained that very soon after Jordan was admitted to ward two, the oncology ward, she received a cash donation from CLIC Sargent. ‘I was a bit taken aback at first, but then I realised that they give it to the parents of every child in the ward so that the last thing they have to worry about at this time, is money,’ she said.
Norma said they were also hugely grateful to CCLASP (Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents) for providing accommodation for Norma so she could be close to Jordan in Edinburgh. The charity also transported Jordan from the Sick Kids to the Western General Hospital where he received his radiotherapy twice a day for four-and-a-half weeks.
The family also thanked TCCL - Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia - which also helps families in north east Fife, for its support.
To show their support to the charities, Norma, Jordan and the rest of their family are planning to organise a family fun day in Ceres on Sunday, June 24 2012.
‘Last year friends including Sarah Buttercase organised “Jordan’s fun day” which was a great success and brought the whole community together,’ said Norma. ‘We are hoping we can do the same this year and make it a true family day out. One thing this experience has taught us is that family and friends are the most important thing.’
Norma went on: ‘This year we’ve decided to donate all the funds from the fun day to CCLASP who do amazing things for children. We hope that if we can run a fun day each year, each charity will benefit.’
Dr Elizabeth Ramsay (née Laird) (1939) died on 6th January 1999 after a long illness. Betty attended Bell Baxter from 1939-1945 and then completed her medical studies, graduating in 1950. Almost all her career was spent as a GP in Portobello, where she was in practice with her husband, who predeceased her by several years. Betty grew up in the Manse in Springfield, where her father was the Minister.