Sick Kids parking ticket mum returns favour with fundraising drive

Mairi Holden and son Oscar with the cash left on her windscreen. Picture: Neil Hanna
Mairi Holden and son Oscar with the cash left on her windscreen. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A MOTHER who was “overwhelmed” after a mystery Good Samaritan left money for a parking fine she received while in hospital with her son has launched a fundraising campaign on the back of the “random act of kindness”.

Mairi Holden began raising money for the Sick Kids hospital after the story of the stranger’s gesture spread on social media and made headlines across the country.

The 35-year-old from Restalrig had rushed four-year-old son Oscar to the hospital after he suffered a severe asthma attack, parking in the first space she found.

The youngster was unexpectedly kept in overnight, and she emerged on Thursday afternoon to discovered two parking tickets slapped on the windscreen of her pink Honda Jazz in Sylvan Place.

To her surprise and delight, she also found tucked under the penalty charge notices a cash gift of £25 along with a handwritten note from her mystery benefactor saying: “Pay it then forget it happened.”

She said: “I have no idea who left the ticket there or why they picked my car. I don’t know if it was somebody who knows me who saw me in the hospital or just someone who was passing. It’s one of those things that I will never forget and has really touched me.”

Oscar began to struggle for breath after a trip to a soft play centre. The attack on Wednesday was so serious that medical staff decided to monitor his condition until the following day.

Mairi, who works as a lifestyle coach, shared the story on Facebook to express her gratitude.

She is also keen to track down the big-hearted stranger to thank him or her.

Within hours of her Facebook post, it had been shared more than 1400 times and had more than 5000 likes.

Tricia Smith wrote: “Still a lot of good people in the world,” while Collette Gillespie Casement added: “It’s great to know there’s an angel about.”

Anne Dickson commented: “It’s wonderful to think there are some thoughtful people in the world we live in today”.

Mairi has since set up a JustGiving page to collect donations for the Sick Kids.

On it she says: “A very kind stranger put £25 under my parking ticket after I parked on a single yellow line outside The Sick Kids Hospital Edinburgh.

“I had to get Oscar in as soon as I could, and ended up having an overnight stay.

“I am starting by doubling the money I received and putting it back into the hospital. I would like to see how one person’s kindness can have a huge impact on the world so many other people’s lives.”

A spokeswoman for the city council said the fine could be overturned.

“Quite often we are sent doctors’ notes from the hospital which means we can then cancel the fine. We would encourage Ms Holden to do the same.

“She will have been given two tickets because she stayed overnight and the car was parked for an extended period of time.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com