The children of a north-east charity boss, who was left paralysed by a mystery illness, have raised more than £39,000 to give their dad a new lease on life – in just six days.
Robin Maitland’s sons and daughters have been left “overwhelmed” by the reaction they have received to an online fundraiser launched to secure a £48,000 “custom” car for him.
In December 2014, Mr Maitland underwent surgery to remove a benign tumour on his spine, but awoke unable to feel anything from the chest down.
Medical experts concluded he was suffering from a rare condition which causes the spinal cord to become significantly damaged with no chance of recovery, although an exact diagnosis has never been pinpointed.
As a result, he has been left unable to perform basis day-to-day tasks, and has spent the past two years living at Glen O Dee Hospital.
Mr Maitland’s Crathes home has been altered to allow him to return home, but he will require two live-in carers and a special wheelchair.
But his children, Anna, Harry, Cara and Jack Maitland are hopeful a specially-designed vehicle will allow their father to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
They are also confident it will allow them to realise their goal of getting Mr Maitland back to a Scotland rugby match at Murrayfield and a concert to see “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen.
Mr Maitland and his wife Claire have helped save thousands of lives as trustees of the Sandpiper Trust.
Anna said: “Since he got ill two years ago, he has essentially lived in hospital and he is getting closer and closer to home. He can’t fit in his old car and, with everything that happened, the costs have been extortionate.
“The car was just one step too far. We just kind of had the aim to have a suitable vehicle for dad. He has always been a sociable guy, and he’s spent two years stuck in hospital.
“It will mean when he is at the house, at home, he can get out and about, and go into Banchory for a coffee with some of us. He will have a bit of normality.
“We are all pretty overwhelmed by the fundraiser so far. It has been unbelievable, we are so hugely grateful for all the support.
“I think it just shows him how loved he is and how much support there is out there for him and how much care there is.”
Anna Maitland added if the family managed to secure a cheaper vehicle for their dad, they would put the rest towards the cost of an off-road wheelchair.
This would allow for Mr Maitland to enjoy the outdoors more freely.
Recently he spent two nights at the family home before going back to Glen O Dee Hospital.
She added: “That would be the next thing, if we do get a cheap car. Living in the countryside we dream of having him out walking the dogs with us again.
“He is desperate to get home and to be with is family, but he is a very, very patient guy.”
To donate, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/robins-road-to-recovery-2vnkgvbd