A MORAY teacher who lost his wife to cancer has been left overwhelmed by the compassion of senior pupils at his school.
A fifth of S6 students at Lossiemouth High gave blood for the first time this week in support of depute head Bob Drysdale.
Mr Drysdale lost his wife Ann five weeks ago, at the age of 60, after her battle with myeloma – cancer of the plasma cells.
Last week, he spoke to S6 pupils at the school to thank them for their support since his return to school and to flag up the importance of giving blood at some time in the future.
“To my amazement, by the time I left the hall, a group of about 10 was waiting for me, all saying that they wished to come with me to give blood,” he said.
“In fact, if we include a couple who are going with a parent, one who has already donated and those coming this afternoon, 20% of our entire S6 are involved, which, I think is phenomenal.”
Mrs Drysdale, a modern languages teacher who latterly taught at Elgin Academy, was diagnosed with myeloma on November 23, 2005.
“She wouldn’t have got as long as she did get if she hadn’t had blood transfusions, especially in the last few weeks and months,” Mr Drysdale said.
It enabled the couple to spend seven-and-a-half precious years together after the diagnosis.
“We did the things that we had always intended doing after we had retired, knowing that it wasn’t going to happen,” he said.
Giving blood himself on Monday afternoon, while overseeing the youngsters taking part for the first time, was a “fitting tribute”.
“I’m just bowled over and it is just so typical of the young folk in Lossie, they always want to give something back and this is just phenomenal.
“I’m finding it very emotional actually, it is just wonderful,” Mr Drysdale said.
Visit www.scotblood.co.uk for information about giving blood, and for dates of local donor sessions.