Cat Thomson: Winning ticket in life's lottery for my family
There was a delay because another patient took much longer than expected. Eve had an emotional wobble about getting a canula in and about the procedure in general but the nurses were amazing. Last time we were here one nurse who had a daughter the same age made a disappointing outcome bearable with her compassion and care, and she was the first face we saw as we entered the ward. I was dreading the procedure not working again; fortunately it was successful.
No more Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which has blighted our lives for almost as long as they have been building the Queensferry Crossing. I can’t quite get my head round what the cardiologists actually do: a three-minute freeze at –80C destroying a tiny faulty bit of my daughter’s heart while it is still beating. Threading wires through a tiny hole in a vein in her leg puts life into stark perspective.
Walking the bridge will symbolise for me letting go of all the worry, and fear, each step lessening the load that I have been carrying as her mother. It is just me that is walking, I didn’t think anyone else would want to do it, and if I’m honest, I didn’t believe I would be selected. I’m raising funds for Midlothian swimming club, who Eve used to compete for. I owe them all a debt of gratitude, as it was a coach, Gilbert Kirkwood, who spotted her heart rate was unusually high in training and our cardiology journey began.
Every time I glimpse the bridge now I visualise the spikes on her now normal ECG soaring skyward, while the high tensile steel wires are family, doctors, nurses, cardiologists all vitally interlinked. A student nurse told her that everything she had experienced, from the diagnosis to the lifestyle changes she made, the side-effects of medication, two unsuccessful procedures and all the emotional fall-out she had coped with at the age of 15, meant she can do anything; that she is unstoppable.
Her schoolteacher agrees, especially when told the procedure had worked and that she wanted to be back to attend a Duke of Edinburgh meeting on Thursday night. “She is one of the people that just make the world go round,” she said.
When I told Eve a colleague was wishing her well, she said: “How many people have you told; all of Scotland?”
The bridge may belong to Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government or even the nation, but to our family it’s Eve’s alone.