Back to health and carrying the baton

editorial image

Newton Mearns’ Paul McDaid is proud to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay after overcoming a life-threatening illness.

With a keen interest in football and a love of the odd pint, Paul is a typical 23-year-old — but he has overcome almost insurmountable health problems.

Paul, who has down’s syndrome, contracted swine flu four years ago. He then faced life-threatening pneumonia, spending 16 days in a coma and over six months inhospital.

Mum Theresa told The Extra: “At our lowest point, we feared we might lose him. But Paul refused to give up and has pushed himself in training.

“We knew he could do it, and family and friends are so happy he’s back to better health.”

Gordon Hill, physical coordinator at Impact Personal Fitness, helped Paul regain his strength as well as lose two stone through a demanding programme of weight-lifting, swimming, and running.

Paul — who will carry the baton when it visits East Ren, on Wednesday (July 16) — said: “I want to thank Gordon for helping me to get fit again. I am not nervous about the Baton Relay. I’m looking forward to it and proud to do it.”

The honour also recognises Paul’s work for Giffnock charity Cosgrove Care.

Brother Michael (19) commented: “I’m always known Paul to be determined and I’ll be very proud of him on the day.”

Joining Paul on the East Ren leg of the relay are Robbie Sutherland, nominated for his work with the 79th Boys Brigade, and Laura Sutherland, for running the seventh Mearns Girl Guides.

The very first batonbearer, taking the Uplawmoor route, will be 83-year-old Heather Anderson, nominated for her community contributions.