Hospital campaigner laid to rest
TRIBUTES have been paid to hospital campaigner Jackie Pollock, who lost her long-battle with cancer last week.
The 66-year-old Dumbarton woman was described as "completely selfless" by fellow campaigners after dedicating her later life to making things better for other people.
Jackie was best known for her tireless fight against the closure of services at the Vale of Leven Hospital including the removal of the Accident and Emergency department and the Christie Ward mental health unit.
The mum-of-one was also a founding member of the United Campaign Group and was involved in the Vale of Leven Monitoring Group, but sadly died at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley on May 19. Her funeral was held on Monday at Cardross Crematorium.
Fellow United Campaign Group member Graeme McCormick said Jackie would be sorely missed.
He told the Reporter: "I think she was a huge asset to the area and I think because of her efforts we still have a Vale hospital today.
"The people of Dumbarton, the Vale and Helensburgh have a great deal to be thankful to her for.
"She was completely selfless. What she did wasn't for her but everybody else. It was a privilege to know someone who was so selfless in trying to make life better for people.
"We sort of came together as a result of the threats to the Vale. When she formed the United Campaign Group she asked me if I wanted to get involved and I said I was delighted to do so.
"What amazed me about Jackie was she seemed to know everybody and everyone. Whether they were on the health board or Scottish Government health department, she seemed to have telephone numbers.
"She wasn't backward in coming forward when challenging people. She could see potential difficulties and problems whether she was in hospital herself or whether she was acting on behalf of other people who had challenging experiences in hospital.
"I always found her to be greatly helpful and she would never ask you to do something if she could do it herself."
During the Summer of 2007 Jackie was also involved in a mass demonstration outside the Vale of Leven Hospital which saw thousands of people turn out to show their support for the medical facility.
Graeme added: "She was resolute and purposeful in what she wanted to achieve. It was a great shame she struggled for years with her health.
"I saw her a fortnight ago and she was chirpy and we had a few good laughs about things that had happened.
"She found out she was terminal just before Christmas and she was pretty low but despite that she was looking to try and get TVs in the Vale. Again despite the fact she was given horrendous personal news, she was still looking to make people's experience of hospital as comfortable as possible, particularly at a festive time of year.
"I think it would be a fitting memorial to her, that when the new health centre is opened, it should be dedicated to her."
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 29 May 12
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