Comment: We salute strength of these families

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TODAY we report on two families who have endured unimaginable grief after losing their children.

Sarah Laftavi, a young doctor, died after a collision between her car and a number 31 Lothian bus on Lasswade Road last April. She was just 24.

Jamie Skinner, a pupil at Liberton High, passed away days before Christmas while playing football at Saughton. He was just 13 and making his debut for Tynecastle FC.

The death of someone so young can leave a scar on all those around them.

But in both of these tragic cases friends and family have channelled their grief into positive action.

Jamie Skinner’s family have set up a foundation with the aim of supplying life-saving defibrillators to schools across the Lothians and in his native Nigeria. Jamie’s school friends are helping with the fundraising.

While many large sports centre have defibrillators, scores of other smaller clubs do not have this life-saving equipment on hand.

At a cost of around £1500 each, this is an ambitious but achievable aim which would be a great tribute to Jamie.

Sarah Laftavi’s parents – from Loanhead – have set up a children’s charity that will support education in India, East Africa and Indonesia.

Again her friends have moved to help, raising £6,000 by running the Rome marathon.

There is no denying the huge difference such fundraising can make to impoverished children living in these areas.

Both Jamie and Sarah will live on in their respective charities. A reminder of their love and popularity, and of how some good can come from the very worst of events.

We salute the strength of both these families and the many others who find the courage to think of helping others in the darkest of times.