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Moray boxer Megan Gordon saved the life of fellow fighter Josh Dunlop when he went into anaphylactic shock


By Craig Christie


BY saving the life of her boxing “brother”, Megan Gordon has shown she can think as quickly as she punches.

Josh Dunlop is grateful to fellow boxer and friend Megan Gordon for helping save his life after he had an extreme allergic reaction. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Josh Dunlop is grateful to fellow boxer and friend Megan Gordon for helping save his life after he had an extreme allergic reaction. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

When her Elgin Amateur Boxing Club colleague Josh Dunlop couldn’t breathe due to a severe allergic reaction during a training night, doctors say he would have died without urgent action.

But by spotting how serious his symptoms were, Megan’s swift response in taking him straight to A&E at Dr Gray’s Hospital ensured the 23-year-old survived.

With no known allergies, Josh was mystified by what caused him to go into anaphylactic shock, but is thankful that Megan, who he regards like a sister from their long association through sport, was on hand to save him.

“I just exploded into puffiness. A rash swelled up my hands, my face, my lips. Meg looked in my hair there were these lumps on my head.

The selfie Josh Dunlop took of his swollen face when his condition worsened on the way to hospital.
The selfie Josh Dunlop took of his swollen face when his condition worsened on the way to hospital.

“The doctors told me what I had just experienced was the worst case of anaphylactic shock and if you don’t get adrenaline in time, it is fatal.

“My airways had closed and they said to me ‘if you had phoned an ambulance you would have probably died’’. Another ten minutes would probably have been fatal, if Meg hadn’t taken me straight to hospital.

“She is like my wee sister and she was there for me. I’m really thankful she made that call and did what she did for me.”

Megan (20), who works as a chef at Macallan distillery, recalled the horror of seeing her friend in turmoil due to the reaction.

Seeing his face swelling after a session on the pads at their club, a suggestion was made by coaches to take Josh out to a chemist for antihistamines to try and deal with the reaction.

She said: “We got in the car and I switched on the engine and I could see he was hardly breathing. I said ‘we are going to A&E’.

“He couldn’t see out of his eyes, they were just so puffed up and his voice sounded like he had a cold but his throat was closing up and he could hardly breathe.

“It was quite scary for me as well because I had never seen anything like it before.

“I’ve been in A&E before and I know you sometimes don’t get seen for hours so for him to get taken in straight away, I knew it was something serious.”

Doctors acted quickly, immediately doing tests and administering doses of adrenaline to take him out of anaphylactic shock.

“The A and E team were just amazing. There were so many people doing tests on him and putting in adrenaline. It was all a shock to him,” Megan added.

She played down her role in saving her pal, adding: “It was first instincts. I just knew he needed to go to A&E.

“He has been really sweet. He bought me flowers and gave me a thank you card but he didn’t need to do that. I would do the same for anyone.”

A Scotland international in his teens, Josh had taken three years out from the sport and only recently returned.

He worked hard on his fitness, losing three stone and was preparing for a comeback fight at Elgin ABC’s annual show last Friday.

His brush with death, just nine days before the scheduled bout, meant he had to postpone the fight and he has been told he must wait until January before going back in the ring.

“Because I had been training so hard after such a long time off, maybe my immune system was a bit lower than it would normally be because it was being attacked with training and dieting, and there was something I wouldn’t normally be allergic to that has given me this reaction,” he said.

“It was so frustrating for me having to watch my pals boxing on Friday when I know I should have been in there myself.

“But the main thing is I am feeling fine and back to myself again.”

Megan took up coaching earlier this year as she recovers from a hand injury which has put her own boxing career on hold for now.

Related stories:

Moray boxer Megan selected for Commonwealth Games

'Princess' Megan guaranteed Commonwealth medal

Megan's a wham bam Bahamas hit for Scotland

She is a former Scottish champ who became the first female fighter to box for Scotland in a Commonwealth competition when she took part in the Youth Games in the Bahamas in 2017 and won a bronze medal.

A year later she was picked for the Scotland team taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

But she hasn’t fought for a year after a broken hand injury suffered a setback, and an MRI scan will determine when she can box again.



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