Anyone who has seen a friend or family member become ill and be treated for cancer will recognise how great a burden it is for the patient to bear.
To add to the constant stress there the dreaded visits to the doctors for check-ups and the various tests with the ever terrifying fear of the cancer returning. Having to go through the whole thing again is almost unthinkable.
Any member of our community who had need to visit Fraserburgh Community Hospital Casualty Department, may well have come into contact with Staff Nurse Ann Gauld.
Whatever the circumstances she was always the same, smiling, cheerful and ready to help and comfort anyone in distress.
Ann told her mother when she was a young schoolgirl that when she grew up she was going to be a nurse, and she did just that, as well as getting married and being the mother of three sons.
It was in 2011, that Ann felt the need to consult her doctor, and was unfortunately diagnosed with lung cancer. She underwent all the aggressive treatments and yet always saw the positive side of life and never complained. Eventually she was well enough to return to her beloved occupation and indeed returned as her own cheerful, helpful self. Many people were aware of Ann’s condition and would enquire how she was feeling.
Alas, the cancer returned, but it was in her brain this time. Ann had to undergo all the dreaded treatments once again. But, again, never a complaint was heard from her, still always concerned for others.
At one time, Ann had to go to Peterhead for treatment because there was not enough equipment to deal with her condition in Fraserburgh. This must have set an idea in motion because she decided that, no matter how ill she was, she must do something to raise funds for the benefit of people who are ill.
A sponsored walk was decided upon despite the fact that she was seriously unwell, and after some planning, Ann duly completed the course. She managed to raise a substantial amount of money to ensure that generous donations could be made to all the places she herself had chosen.
Firstly, the purchase of a 24-hour blood pressure monitor which is now located at Finlayson Street Surgery. This equipment enables a more realistic picture than a one-off reading taken while sitting in the clinic and having the reading taken once.
The machine enables the patient to be in their own environment and carry on as usual while their blood pressure is monitored. The computerised results enable a much more specific treatment to be given if required.
Donations were also made to both Kinnaird and Philorth Wards in Ann’s beloved hospital. Mr Bisset’s Clinic in ARI also received a generous donation. Not only did Ann have local needs in
mind, but she instructed that a donation should go Mr Green’s Eye Clinic towards the cost of treating children in Thailand and Burma.
There is no doubt that Ann, through all her trials, thought not of herself but of others who were ill or in distress.
If she had been able to, Ann would have wished to thank each and everyone who sponsored her efforts and made all these things possible.
Ann died a year ago, on November 5, but by doing what she did, as well as the manner in which she did it, she has ensured she will always be fondly remembered by a vast array of people.