A MUM left devastated when her husband died suddenly from a massive heart attack has told how the fantastic fundraising efforts of his friends and work-mates have helped comfort her.
Life hasn’t been the same for Marion Wishart since her beloved husband Tam died in July at the age of 54.
He had been cutting a hedge at their home in Todholm Crescent, Paisley, when he complained of feeling breathless. And, despite the best efforts of paramedics and doctors, he sadly died shortly after arriving at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank.
Tam, who worked as a plumber for Renfrewshire Council for 32 years, is sadly missed by his friends and colleagues and two of them – Laura McNally and Thomas Hampsay – decided to organise a fundraising cycle around Millport in his honour, with the money raised being donated to the British Heart Foundation and Kersland School in Paisley, where Tam’s grand-daughter Lauren is a pupil.
Laura said: “Tam was a real character and we wanted to organise a fundraising event that his friends and family could take part in.
“The sponsored cycle started off with just a few people involved but then it got bigger and bigger as the weeks went on.”
Marion, 55, didn’t take part in the cycle, but went to Millport to cheer everyone on.
She was touched so many people took part and said: “The bike ride took place on my birthday, which is also Tam and I’s wedding anniversary, so it was nice to spend the day with people who cared about him.”
The event has so far raised £5,000 and, to thank those who have been involved, Marion will tonight stage a party at Dykebar Social Club in Paisley, where Tam was a regular.
During the event, cheques will be presented to the British Heart Foundation and Kersland School.
Marion said: “Tam used to go down to the social club every Friday night. Years ago, it was known as the India Tyres Social Club and he was the secretary there.”
She is also keen to thank Tam’s work-mates after they helped to replace her garden hedge with a fence.
Marion added: “The last thing my husband did before he died was cut the hedge around the house. After he died, my son Christopher said: ‘That hedge has got to go’.
“Every time I looked out of the kitchen window, I could see Tam out there cutting it down. So, one Friday, Christopher and his friends took down the hedge and, the next day, Tam’s work-mates came round to put up a fence.
“They then came back on the Sunday to paint it. That’s the kind of respect they had for Tam.
“I tried to give them something for their trouble but they wouldn’t take anything. I wanted to do something to say thank-you to them, so they suggested having a night out. I booked the Dykebar Social Club and that was that.
“It’s my way of saying thank-you to everyone who has helped with the fundraising and the fence.
“I would also like to say a special thanks to one of Christopher’s friends, Gerry Devine, who raised over £500 and also helped to remove the hedge.”
Marion and Tam were together for 19 years and raised four children – Michelle, 31, Suzanne, 30, Leigh, 28, and Christopher, 27.
Tam was also a devoted grandpa to 12-year-old Jordain, seven-year-old Lauren, five-year-old Emma, four-year-old Lara and three-year-old Christopher.
The turnout for Tam’s funeral was a mark of how well respected he was.
Marion explained: “We had the funeral at Woodside Crematorium in Paisley. One of the men told me he had worked there for 10 years and had never seen a funeral like it because there were so many people.
“Tam was a real family man and no-one had a bad word to say about him.”