A charity chief left paralysed by a mystery illness is “rallying” and recovering in hospital after falling critically unwell.
Robin Maitland was rushed to intensive care after being found unresponsive with a severe infection last week.
And while his family feared the worst at one point, they have confirmed he has since been moved to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s high dependency unit and is continuing to get better.
Mr Maitland, a trustee of The Sandpiper Trust charity, has been unable to feel anything from the chest down since 2014.
After a routine operation to remove a benign tumour on his spine he suffered respiratory failure and woke up paralysed.
While they were baffled at first, doctors were able to diagnose him with neuromyelitis optica, or Devic’s disease – a condition that causes the spinal cord to become inflamed and damaged with no chance of recovery.
The 62-year-old spent more than two years in hospital before he was well enough to go home to his family in Crathes, Deeside last year.
But he has had to return to ARI several more times since then, including when he was given intravenous antibiotics for sepsis in June.
His wife, Claire, said he fell “critically unwell” from this again last week, adding that it was “much worse than last time”.
“He was rushed to intensive care with acute sepsis,” she said.
“I thought we were losing him, but the good news is he is now rallying and has made it up to the high dependency unit.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
“We were told that we could bring the family together and it was looking dire.
“Having been unresponsive he is now more alert – and a touch Mr Grumpy – which is a good sign.”
She added: “He is receiving wonderful care from the hospital staff, his carers and, of course, his family.”
Through their work with The Sandpiper Trust, Mr and Mrs Maitland have helped save thousands of lives across the country.
The charity was set up in 2001 to improve emergency medical care in rural areas.
Since then more than £1.5 million has been raised for emergency medical kits, defibrillators medical training for volunteer first responders.