As a nurse, Nicola Capper trusts her instincts when her children fall ill.
So when her daughter Amy was struck down by an upset stomach on holiday, she called her GP as soon as they got back.
“I suspected food poisoning or a tummy bug,” said Nicola, 35. “But she just looked a little funny. Her eyes were all swollen. Something just wasn’t right.”
It emerged Amy was battling a rare, life-threatening illness.
“When the doctors started talking about mortality rates, that’s when it really hit home,” said Nicola.
“It was one of our most scary times as parents.”
The Capper family – Nicola, husband Robert, and daughters Lucy, 9, Amy, 6, and Chloe, 3 – from Houston, Renfrewshire were in Majorca last July when Amy began suffering stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
After tests at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, doctors discovered Amy had Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS), a rare and dangerous complication from E. Coli. The small blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged and make changes to the blood, meaning the kidneys don’t work as well as they should.
“In all my years of nursing, I had never heard of it before,” said Nicola.
Amy spent a week in the hospital’s renal unit, having several blood transfusions. Thankfully she made a speedy recovery.
Since her treatment, the Cappers have been keen to give something back to the hospital.
Now their family business, WRC Recycling, is supporting children’s charities around the country by sponsoring a statue in the Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail.
Scotland’s first national art trail will see 150 Wullie statues go on display for families to enjoy before the sculptures are auctioned off to raise funds for Glasgow Hospital Children’s Charity, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and the ARCHIE Foundation.
From June to September, the colourful statues of the spiky-haired scamp – all uniquely designed – will be placed around Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
WRC Recycling is sponsoring GCHC’s statue, Hospital Hero, a design which represents the hospital heroes who go above and beyond for patients every day. Amy and her sisters even personalised it by adding their names to his stookie!
Nicola said: “We want to support the children’s hospital as much as we can. The charity means a lot to us. If you have a child, you never know when you may need to use the Children’s Hospital.
“We feel so lucky to have this wonderful facility so close to us.”
There’s still time to sponsor an Oor Wullie sculpture – but you’ll have to be quick.
The trail launches in June, and dozens of businesses from across Scotland have already snapped up a sculpture.
Organisations including Scottish Power, the University of Aberdeen and Tunnock’s have joined headline sponsor Arnold Clark in support of the trail, which is expected to be seen by up to one million people.
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