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Covid survivor James Scott is wishing everyone a merry and safe Christmas.
The 64-year-old’s festive message to his hometown and surrounding communities is to make the best of celebrations as far as coronavirus guidelines allow but keep yourselves and loved ones safe.
Mr Scott, who spent 38 days in hospital in Oban and in critical care at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University, says this Christmas will be a bitter-sweet one for him as he will miss his mum Jessie Scott who passed away from coronavirus while he was in an induced coma unaware she had even contracted the disease.
‘People should enjoy themselves this Christmas and make the best of it but please stay safe. Keep washing your hands, keep your social distances and keep your loved ones well,’ he said.
Thanks to the NHS, Mr Scott is feeling almost as fit as he did before the virus struck and is back at work. X-rays that once showed his lungs were almost 100 per cent deprived of oxygen are in the past and he has built back his strength. He said: ‘I’m one of the lucky ones and am thankful for that every day.
‘This virus is not going to go away anywhere soon, it’s going to be with us for quite awhile yet but we have to keep going and follow the rules to look after ourselves. I think Oban is doing a good job of that.’
Mr Scott recently had his flu jab and will be waiting his turn to be called for a Covid vaccination.
He said: ‘I’m not being prioritised because I’ve already had it. I’ve not been tested again to see if I still have the antibodies either but I’ll just wait my turn to be called.’
Meanwhile, more donations are still needed to fund a special infection control room at Lorn and The Islands Hospital in Oban.
A crowdfunding appeal he launched earlier this year smashed his £15,000 target to help save lives at Oban hospital, but more money is needed from well wishers to go towards the project and make it a success.
Doctors at the hospital described the project as ‘complex’ because of the huge amount of planning and research required, but it is making progress.
As well as individuals donations to Mr Scott’s Justgiving page, contributions towards the £15,000 plus that was raised came in from Mr Scott’s bosses at Glensanda, from Zeus engineering and MacQueen Bros Charitable Trust.
Funds raised will help buy a special machine that pulls air into a controlled room then filters it before moving the air back out infection-free, keeping others safe. The negative pressure room would help patients not just with coronavirus but other airborne diseases being treated in Oban.
Although these special rooms are a standard fixture in bigger hospitals with a dedicated infectious disease unit, it is not common to find them in hospitals the size of Oban.
Anyone wanting to make a donation can email local area manager for Oban and Lorn Islands Hospital Caroline Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org