Paul pays off his debt with show

Paul and Ruby
Paul and Ruby
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THE frontman of a rising Capital band has told how he hopes to repay his debt of gratitude to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation after his child fell seriously ill earlier this year.

Paul Dourley, 29, lead singer with The Asps, announced that the up-and-coming outfit would headline a benefit concert for the charity that helped make bearable his daughter’s hospital visits since she was diagnosed with a lung disorder in May.

Nine-year-old Ruby was unexpectedly struck down with interstitial lung disease (ILD), reducing her lung capacity to just 20 per cent of its normal function amid fears the youngster may have to undergo a lung transplant.

“Ruby was diagnosed with ILD and is still on medication for it,” said Mr Dourley. “It affects the inner lining of her lungs and restricts the capacity of it to expand. When she was taken into hospital she could hardly breathe.

“We were told that treatment could involve a lung transplant but she went for a biopsy and it now looks as though it was caused by an allergic reaction.

“It just came on so quickly. One minute she was out playing in the street with her friends and the next she came in gasping for air.”

He added: “The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, when they raise money they put it into things that will keep the kids entertained like games or DVD players.

“It’s amazing when you are there for days on end the things that can help to take their mind off tests and treatment.”

Six months on, and following expert care at the Sick Kids Hospital, Ruby is on the mend and her musician dad was keen to offer his own special tribute tomorrow night at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Morrison Street.

Mr Dourley’s band could be on the verge of stardom having been handpicked by acclaimed rock legend Ron Nevison to produce their next album.

Nevison, the man behind a string of hits for the Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin, selected The Asps from thousands of demos sent in from around the world.

Mr Dourley said he had been exploring fundraising ideas and was delighted to be invited to perform at the event.

He said: “We were approached by a representative from the Sick Kids Friends Foundation who said he had been listening to our music and was interested to see if we wanted to headline this gig to raise money for them.

“It was nice that we were asked to do this. When I was in the Sick Kids with Ruby I was always saying we need to organise something to help so it’s nice to be asked.”

Maureen Harrison, chief executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to the band and everyone supporting their fundraising – by all accounts it’s a hotly anticipated evening.

“Our motto is ‘You don’t have to be a doctor to make sick kids better!’ and it’s true that everyone who raises funds for the hospital plays a part.

“The foundation helps sick children get better by funding extra medical equipment, improving facilities, financing specialised research and training and providing a wide variety of extra comforts.”

Entry to the concert costs £3 and starts at 7pm.

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com