A PENSIONER left fighting for her life after being attacked by a mugger has been moved out of intensive care after an operation on her punctured lung.
Evelyn Crawford was violently assaulted as she returned from a visiting an elderly woman, who had just been discharged from hospital, as part of her duties as a church elder.
Pat Watson, minister at Drylaw Parish Church, said that Mrs Crawford’s first words to her following her operation was to talk about the improving health of the sick parishioner.
And Reverend Watson paid tribute to the “selfless” 75-year-old who has dedicated her life to helping others as Mrs Crawford continues her recovery at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
She said that the widow had been left “extremely distressed” by her ordeal, adding that she hoped the “psychological impact” of the attack would not curtail the community work for which she lives.
Mrs Crawford, who was honoured as Drylaw Citizen of the Year in 2007, was dragged to the ground by the mugger as he snatched her handbag in Groathill Road North at around 6pm on Sunday. She suffered injuries to her head, broken fingers and broken ribs which punctured he lung.
Mrs Crawford was taken off sedation and woke on Monday lunchtime after having a drain fitted to remove fluid from the lung. Rev Watson visited the community stalwart at the ERI that afternoon.
She said: “Evelyn had been visiting an elderly woman in the parish who had been in hospital. She is the church’s point of contact for people who are no longer able to attend services themselves. She had stayed a bit longer than she thought and had picked up her dinner from the chip shop when she was attacked.
“Evelyn’s first words when I went to visit her in hospital was to tell me this lady was doing better. That’s typical of Evelyn, never to think of herself first.
“She had a very supportive family and circle of friends who will do what they can to help her through this, but there’s always the danger in these situations that the psychological impact is greater than the physical one.
“It could leave her with a fear of going out alone in the dark, something she had always done while going out to visit sick and elderly people. Her community work is such a part of her life and we wouldn’t want that to come to an end. She’s been left extremely distressed by what has happened. She’s also embarrassed by feelings that she allowed it to happen to her. She’s still in shock.”
Mrs Crawford has been a member of the community council in Drylaw for around ten years, and an elder at Drylaw Parish Church for more than two decades.
Rev Watson added: “People are shocked that this could happen to anyone, but especially to Evelyn because of the kind of person she is. The general reaction when people have heard is that they feel physically sick.”
Mrs Crawford was honoured for her work with the church, Brownies and Rainbows, which earned her the annual Thomas Tierney Award for Good Citizenship in 2007.
The attacker is described as in his early 20s, around 6ft tall and skinny. He was wearing dark clothing and a hat.