A teenage cancer patient has been saved from a series of gruelling trips to hospital following the Forth Road Bridge closure thanks to an 11th-hour intervention from an Edinburgh businessman.
Megan Fletcher, 14, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year and has to make regular trips from her Dundee home to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital for treatment.
But when the bridge linking Fife and the capital closed for repair work, the usual car journey looked like becoming a much more challenging affair.
Megan and her mother Shona were worried they would have to travel for hours by taxi, train, then bus – all before 9am – to make the regular chemotherapy appointments.
When Sandy Bloomer, owner of Gift Experience Scotland, heard about their plight, he stepped in and organised a helicopter to take them from their home to Edinburgh.
The pair arrived at the city’s airport yesterday and will be flown back to Dundee on Thursday. Speaking straight after the flight, Megan declared it was “really good”.
She explained: “The idea of having to spend so many hours on trains and buses because of the bridge being closed was really getting me down. We were also worried because I could pick up infections on the train.”
She said it was “so nice” of Mre Bloomer – who was there to meet her off the flight – to help.
Shona, 33, said she was initially “devastated” to find out about the bridge closure.
“I was just worried about how we were going to get there, what we were going to do,” she said.
“The easiest option was the train rather than driving the extra 50 miles but the trains were going to be packed. Would we get a seat even if we booked a seat? It was just a nightmare.
“I was worried as well because she has been quite sick this time with her treatment.”
She said she cannot thank the businessman enough for his help.
“We are just overwhelmed by Sandy’s generosity,” she said.
“We received a call a couple of days ago asking if we would like to be taken to Edinburgh by helicopter to make things easier for Megan, and obviously jumped at the opportunity.
“It means so much to us to know so many people, complete strangers, care and want to share their generosity.”
Old Town Chambers, serviced apartments off the Royal Mile, also stepped in to help by providing Megan and her mother with accommodation during their time in Edinburgh.
Mr Bloomer said: “When I heard about what Megan and her mum were going to have to go through to get the treatment she needs, I knew I had to help.
“Hopefully more businesses can rally round and also show their support to help make Megan’s life a little bit easier while the bridge is closed.”