A DESPERATELY ill former Capital detective is set to be flown back from Spain this week after Evening News readers boosted a fundraising appeal.
Retired Kenny Young, 58, was left fighting for life in an Alicante hospital after suffering a debilitating stroke on Christmas Eve.
His frantic family have had to raise more than £25,000 to medivac him to the UK and are about £170 short of the target.
The partner of Kenny’s son Reeve, Amy Johnson, launched the appeal and thanked those who dug deep in support.
“Obviously at this time of year and over Christmas when everybody has their own things going on and their own families to look after, to take the time to help our family is massive,” said Amy, 29.
“He still needs an operation for his heart, there’s still a leak but he’s a lot better and he was moved to a general ward last week. He’s started to speak which is great for his recovery.
“He’s on the mend but he obviously needs to get back to get the operation because the Alicante hospital want him out.”
Kenny is expected to be flown by air ambulance later this week from Alicante airport to Edinburgh before being transferred to hospital.
He was found on the bedroom floor of their apartment in the coastal town of Javea by wife Lorraine on December 24.
The couple, from Moredun, retired to the Med two years ago after Kenny finally called time on a 32-year career with the force.
“This is a circumstance we never thought we would end up in and the worst time of my life,” said Amy, 29.
“I really hope and wish somehow we can help get him close to loved ones but mainly get him the care, treatment and support he needs back home in the UK.”
Kenny had been complaining of chest and shoulder pain the night before he fell ill – but put it down to his lifelong battle with autoimmune disease lupus. But former Edinburgh Leisure director Lorraine, 60, woke to find him slumped on the floor of their home.
She called out to daughter Sean, 28, who had flown in from the Old Town to celebrate Christmas with her parents.
“Sean reacted really fast,” said Amy. “They called an ambulance and drove behind it to hospital.”
Restaurant manager Amy and tattooist Reeve, 34, a former corporal in the Royal Scots, got a call later on Christmas Eve and dropped everything to fly to Kenny’s bedside.
“It was just so shocking,” said Amy. “He’s normally so active and healthy and is a big family man.”
Kenny’s lupus led to complications following the stroke, as pneumonia took hold and heart valve problems risked further trauma. His family set-up an online fundraising page after being told it will cost more than £25,000 to fly him home.
“The thought of doing this kills my pride inside however we have no other option than to ask for help,” said Amy.
“He’s probably the strongest, proudest man you’ll ever meet, one of a kind actually. He’s normally the one helping others. The response has been going crazy with people we know and family.”
Amy and Reeve are back home in Leith after running up a bill of thousands on flights and a hotel room as they tried to spend as much time as possible at Kenny’s bedside.
“Obviously that money doesn’t matter at a time like this,” said Amy. “We’re wondering what the best course of action is to ensure he gets the best care and support possible.
“I believe that is to get him back to the UK where he belongs in Scotland. We are willing to put every penny we have left to attempt to meet near this goal but we are hoping with the help of everyone in the world’s kindness that we can meet this amount required.”
You can support Kenny’s fundraising appeal at his Go Fund Me page.