The death of a teenager’s beloved gran sparked a drive to raise money for hospital equipment after the Beast From East disrupted her funeral.
Rachel Kennedy, 17, had hoped funds from the collection at the end of Margaret Thomson’s funeral would be enough to buy a special chair for the hospital.
But those hoping to pay their respects to the popular pensioner were hindered by the extreme weather.
Rachel said: “My granny was a popular woman. She had many strands to her life and we were confident that the retiring collection at her funeral would meet a large proportion of the cost.
“However, nature stepped in and Edinburgh saw the worst weather in years. Whilst many people battled through the weather, for the service less than a third of those at the Church, made it to the crematorium due to worsening conditions.”
And the extreme conditions even put a halt to the funeral tea.
“Not only were we well short of our target but I personally felt that my granny did not get the send off she deserved.”
Following complaints of back pain, Mrs Thomson was diagnosed with cancer after it was detected in her spine.
When she died, on February 17 aged 76, the family asked the hospital if there was anything they needed that would benefit patients and their families. “We agreed on a chair bed,” Rachel explained. “It would allow people to stay with their relatives overnight in their final hours. This piece of equipment would have benefitted my granny as she sat with various friends and relatives in her final hours.”
And to honour both her memory and her charitable nature, Rachel decided to step in and raise enough money for the chair bed, which costs £1500.
On April 7 at Morningside Parish Church a special coffee morning has been organised to raise funds for the cause as well as giving all those who missed it, the opportunity to celebrate her life.
Local businesses from Penicuik to Bruntsfield have offered raffle and tombola prizes including dinner for two at the Black Ivy and haircut at Panache in Morningside.
Rachel said: “My granny was a wonderful woman, a huge influence in my life and a special friend to me and my brother, Adam. We have always been extremely close and I have been overwhelmed by the response.
“Myself and a group of friends won the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Prize at school and when it was announced, nobody in the room cheered louder than my granny and that is why I am determined to beat that total on Saturday and deliver a chair for Ward 8 at the Western General Hospital, to make my granny proud.”