Rae Blair, 4 is on a mission to get her Great Grandfather (known as Papa-G) back home for cake and story time after a serious stroke has left him in hospital and unable to walk.
Superstar Rae has challenged herself to the Kids’ Kilometre at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in May to raise money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland to get her Papa-G out of hospital and back home to his family.
The family’s fundraising drive comes after their beloved Papa, Billy Kay, 76 from Loanhead, suffered a serious stroke in December last year.
On 6th December last year, Billy began to feel very unwell. His wife noticed that his face and arm were drooped and he was rushed to hospital. He was told he had suffered a mini-stroke and was sent home to rest. That night, whilst asleep in his bed, things took a very bad turn. Billy suffered a massive stroke, his entire left side stopped working and he fell from his bed onto the floor. That was the last time Billy was at home with his wife, just a few weeks before Christmas. He has been in hospital ever since.
As his left-side was so badly affected, Billy completely lost the ability to walk and use his left arm. He had previously lost his right leg in an accident at work in the 90s so has relied a lot on his left-side.
Billy was moved to the Astley Ainslie where he is receiving care and support to help him with his recovery. Slowly but surely Billy is beginning to regain confidence and build up his movement.
The whole family are coming together to support Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland with Rae’s Mum and Gran braving the Loch Ness Beast Race and organising other various fundraisers throughout the year.
READ MORE: Jane-Claire Judson: Help Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland make our service better
Claire Blair, Rae’s mum, said: “We were all absolutely devastated when my Papa suffered his stroke. My Granny and Papa have been together since they were 14 years old, it breaks my heart that he can’t come home yet. My Granny is partially blind and suffers from her own health issues and my Papa has always been the strong one who looks after her and everyone. He’s our rock. It has been so hard not having him at home. We all miss him so much.
“Rae and her great-grandfather, or “Papa-G” as she calls him, are super close, and he adores hearing about her training. Every time we see him, she’ll say “Let’s do this Papa-G!” which in my opinion has so many meanings. Rae’s talking about crossing the finish line and running super-fast, but I can see in my Papa’s eyes that he sees it as a goal, encouragement and motivation to smash his recovery and rehabilitation. He would love nothing more than to be able to get back home to my Granny and watch Rae cross that finish line!
“We can’t bring him home ourselves that’s why we need people to donate and give anything they can to Rae’s JustGiving page to make sure Papa gets the help he needs to get home and back to his family who miss him so much.”
Rae Blair, Papa-G’s great-granddaughter, said: “I miss my Papa-G so much. I want him to come home. I want to run really fast for Papa-G and give him a big hug after. Let’s do this Papa-G!”
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Papa-G (Billy Kay), stroke survivor, said, “The hardest thing has been being away from home and leaving the family behind. The best part of my week is when the family comes to visit; things feel normal for a short moment. I can spend time with my whole family and laugh with my wife. I hate that I can’t be there for them like I used to be.
“I am so proud of the girls for taking on these challenges and raising money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. Seeing Rae so determined and excited has been such a motivator for me, she’s an inspiration and so full of life. I want nothing more than to be there on the day cheering her on with my whole family by my side.”
Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said,
“Helping people live life to the full after a stroke is what we do. It is so inspiring to see the family, led by Rae, one of our youngest fundraising heroes, rallying together and doing what they can to help get Papa-G home. Let’s do everything we can to get him home. Let’s do this Papa-G!”
You can help Rae and her family to get Papa-G home by donating whatever you can here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/billyswarriors