Widow gives Christmas cash to Jamie campaign

Kenny MacFarlane suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at Kingsknowe Golf Club
Kenny MacFarlane suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at Kingsknowe Golf Club
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A GRIEVING widow whose husband suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on a golf course will use the money for his Christmas presents to pay for a life-saving defibrillator.

Kenny MacFarlane, 58, died after he collapsed while playing on the fairways at Kingsknowe Golf Club on May 4.

Kenny MacFarlane's wife Fiona and their twin daughters Alana and Lisa

Kenny MacFarlane's wife Fiona and their twin daughters Alana and Lisa

There was no defibrillator at the club house – although one has been installed since the tragedy – and his heartbroken wife Fiona, 54, and twin daughters Alana and Lisa, 26, have endured agonising uncertainty over whether a heart-start machine could have saved his life.

Mrs MacFarlane, of Buckstone, said: “A defibrillator may not have helped Kenny – we will never know that now – but it would help me and the girls to know that everything possible had been done to try to save him.

“When a sudden death happens there is a ripple effect. It started with me and the girls, then family, friends, colleagues. So many people are affected.”

Mrs MacFarlane has chosen to donate £200 to our Shockingly Easy campaign – run in partnership with the Jamie Skinner Foundation – which was set up in memory of a 13-year-old footballer who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on a Saughton playing field last December.

Mrs MacFarlane, who works in customer service at Standard Life, said: “I think it’s something he would have wanted and would have been proud of. Everybody says Kenny was one of the ‘good guys’. He just had this lovely smile. He never waited for life to come to him, he was always wanting to live it.”

Sports-mad Kenny, who worked at Standard Life, had been a huge fan of golf, snooker and football. He was a season ticket holder and a shareholder at his beloved Hearts.

Daughter Lisa, one half of DJ duo the Mac Twins, who write a weekly column in the Evening News, said: “When something like this happens it is such a horrible thing and the only way to fill that black hole inside is by doing things to help someone else. It seems mad that something like this campaign hasn’t been done before.”

Jamie’s sister, Sonia McCraw, 30, said: “The public generosity has been absolutely outstanding. This kind donation has taken us over £27,000 which is absolutely amazing.”

Well-known figures such as Mark Greenaway, Alistair Darling MP and actor Tam Dean Burn posed for pictures as part of the Evening News’ Christmas Appeal to spread the word about the life-saving devices and to identify clubs to host a heart-start machine.

The total raised will pay for 18 defibrillators.

To find out more e-mail savealife@edinburghnews.com or call Lizzy Buchan on 0131 3117394.

Baby brings family hope one year after tragedy

The sister of tragic Edinburgh teenager Jamie Skinner has given birth to a baby girl, just days after the first anniversary of his death.

Sonia McCraw said Skylar, who was born on December 27, had brought “good news” to the family after a harrowing year.

Baby Skylar – a little sister for Sean, three, and eight-year-old Steven – would have been Jamie’s first niece.

Mrs McCraw, 30, rushed to St John’s Hospital in Livingston to have her daughter, as the maternity unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was full.

She spent just 20 minutes in the labour ward before giving birth to Skylar, who was a healthy seven pounds and two ounces. “Jamie would have been just delighted,” she said. “It’s nice to have some good news at this time of year.”

Jamie’s brother Tony and his partner Lisa are also expecting a baby girl in two weeks’ time.