Tony’s hard work has left a last­ing legacy

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Lynda Ni­col

Trib­utes are be­ing paid to the Ruther­glen man who help found the Kil­bryde Hospice, as the new £4mil­lion build­ing at Hairmyres Hos­pi­tal opened to the pub­lic.

Tony McGuin­ness was the driv­ing force be­hind the Hospice, died at the age of 76 after a long ill­ness in Jan­uary 2010.

But his legacy lives on, with the open­ing of the hospice build­ing last week, which has been given huge do­na­tions from the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang com­mu­nity, to cre­ate the hospice that South La­nark­shire desperately wanted.

The hospice is a char­ity that ex­ists to pro­vide care and support to peo­ple af­fected by life lim­it­ing ill­nesses such as can­cer, Parkin­son’s Dis­ease, Mul­ti­ple Sclero­sis, COPD and many oth­ers. They also support the pa­tient’s fam­ily, car­ers and peo­ple who have been be­reaved.

Con­sul­tant sur­geon John Richards, who, along with Tony first launched the ap­peal for support for a hospice way back in 2001, said even they had been as­tounded at the level of pub­lic de­mand there was for such a fa­cil­ity.

John said: “Through work­ing in the hos­pi­tal and talk­ing to col­leagues I knew more hospice fa­cil­i­ties were desperately needed.

“My col­leagues and I were deal­ing with pa­tients on an almost daily ba­sis whom we knew would ben­e­fit from hospice care but in­stead were faced with the prospect of dy­ing at home, of­ten alone, or in a hos­pi­tal bed where staff, be­cause of pres­sure of work, were un­able to give them the time and level of support they re­ally needed.

“But even we did not re­alise just how much our wish for a hospice to be built in the area res­onated with the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

John said his view was shared by friends, in­clud­ing can­cer spe­cial­ist Dr Hosni Yousef, who met up reg­u­larly to dis­cuss what could be done about it.

Although they all agreed St An­drew’s Hospice in Air­drie was do­ing a ter­rific job, they felt it was not big enough to cope with the de­mand in the county for hospice care. It was also too far away and too dif­fi­cult for many of the

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