Papa-G’s little Rae of sunshine on a mission to bring him home

A LITTLE girl whose great-grandfather is recovering from a stroke in the Astley Ainslie Hospital is preparing to tackle a marathon challenge to get him back home for cake and story-reading.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 6:09 am
Maureen Bennett, little Rae and mother Claire are desperate for Billy to come home again

Rae Blair, four, is on a mission to get Billy Kay – known to her as Papa-G – on the road to recovery after he was struck down and left unable to walk.

The determined youngster has challenged herself to the Kids’ Kilometre at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival to raise money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland to get Papa-G out of hospital and back home to his family.

The family’s fundraising drive comes after Billy, 76 from Loanhead, suffered a serious stroke in December last year.

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Billy began to feel very unwell. His wife noticed that his face and arm were drooping 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, 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 1990s, 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.

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 – 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 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.

“We can’t bring him home ourselves so 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 said: “I want to run really fast for Papa-G and give him a big hug after.”

To help Rae and her family go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/billyswarriors