Graham makes ‘emotional’ Hawick Ambulance Station visit with Scottish Building Society donation
Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland star Darcy Graham presented Hawick Ambulance Station with a donation of £500 and a signed match jersey to thank the hero Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) staff who saved his brother’s life after a horror crash.
Aged 17 at the time, Clark Graham was involved in an accident near the village of Ashkirk in the Borders, north of Hawick, which left him in a coma for three-and-a-half weeks.
Graham, who is now preparing for the Rugby World Cup in France, previously donated £500 to the Hawick station – donated on behalf of the club’s sponsors Scottish Building Society – after winning the team’s Player of The Month last September.
He was once again chosen as Edinburgh’s April’s Player of the Month this year and chose the ambulance service as the beneficiary.
Graham visited Hawick Ambulance Station on Thursday (May 18) to thank Gary Brown, Hawick-based Paramedic, and Jenny Braithwaite, Paramedic who is based in Melrose, who was working at Hawick at the time.
After the call was taken by WHO, Gary and Jenny were dispatched by WHO; they were the first crew on scene and rushed Clark to Borders General Hospital, fearing the worst.
Graham said: “It means so much to me and my family. Without the Scottish Ambulance Service and what they did that night at Clark’s accident, he wouldn’t be here, so it’s an easy one for us to give back to them to just kind of say thank you. The quick decisions they made that night thankfully saved Clark’s life.
“It was very emotional meeting the crew. It’s kind of hard to put into words what to say to them. It’s an easy one to for me to pick. It’s not just my family they’ve helped, it’s so many other people’s families and lives they’ve saved from them just doing their job.
“Day to day, it’s what they are here for and we kind of take it for granted almost. Having the ambulance service, having the NHS, everything, we are very lucky to have these services just on a phone call.”
Brown, who has been with the Scottish Ambulance Service for 20 years, said it was “fantastic” of Darcy to donate to SAS, and added: “It was great to meet Darcy and hopefully we can meet Clark soon. The money will be donated to the station, so it will stay in Hawick.”
He said the money will directly benefit the patients the ambulance service attends to.
Speaking of the accident, Brown said: “I remembered it had started snowing that night and there was a light covering over the road. We were the first crew on scene and quite clearly the car Clark had been driving had gone through two fences and into a tree.
Brown was the first to inspect the vehicle, and after seeing the wreckage of the car – which had suffered “massive damage” – feared the worst for who was inside. He added: “Clark was unconscious and obviously very, very ill.”
After assessing the scene, Gary and Jenny realised he needed to be transferred to hospital immediately. Clark was initially taken to Borders General Hospital, before being transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Gary said after he was handed into the care of hospital clinicians, he didn’t think would make it.
Two additional crews staffed by Susan Angus, Technician, and Lee Myers, Paramedic, both of Melrose Station, and Suzanne Little, Advanced Paramedic at Melrose, and Mark Neil. Malcolm Landells and Rhona Dunn from SAS’s SORT East team were also sent along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to the scene of the accident. A second passenger, less critical than Clark, also required medical treatment.
Scottish Building Society has donated over £7000 the past two seasons to a range of causes, and Graham said it was great to see first-hand the staff who will benefit and how it will help the community and patient care. The money will used for patient care and is determined by the staff on how it is best spent to help the community.
Paul Denton, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Building Society added: “We’re very proud to donate to Scottish Ambulance Service in Hawick for the second time.
“It’s a charity which we know is very close to Darcy’s heart, and we are very aware of the lifesaving work they do across the Borders. It’s great to have their work highlighted and supported in this way.”
Click here to find out more about donating to the Scottish Ambulance Service.