By Monica Gibson

FRIENDS, family and colleagues of a Neilston man who lost use of his legs after a severe stroke are digging deep to help buy him an electric wheelchair.

Ross Stirling, who grew up in Barrhead’s Levern Crescent, suffered a brain stem stroke two years ago, and despite being told survival rates are low, Ross – supported by partner Janice and his two teenage children – has already defied doctors expectations in his battle since.

Ross, 52, has tried to retain as much independence as possible, but he still needs help if he wants to go out.

But now friends who went to Barrhead High School with Ross have organised a fundraising campaign – including a special race night – to help buy him a £1,900 electric wheelchair and regain some of his independence.

Schoolfriend Linda Dick, who came up with the idea with husband Graham, reconnected with Ross four years ago through mutual friend Colin Wade – who since sadly died after fighting lung cancer.

Linda, who fought her own battle with breast cancer at the same time, said Colin was desperate to help Ross, despite his own illness, which has left her determined to do as much as she can to help.

She told the Barrhead News: “I got in touch with Ross through a friend of mine, Colin Wade, when I had breast cancer and Colin had lung cancer.

“Unfortunately, Colin passed away but even when he was ill, he was so determined to do something for Ross and it was him who brought us all together.

“During my illness, we had a race night at the Travellers Rest in Neilston and it turned out great, so we decided to see if we could do the same for Ross to raise money for the chair.

“Someone suggested we set up a JustGiving page and in less than a month we have raised almost three times our original target.

“The chair comes in at around £1,900, so the rest of the money we make will be spent on therapies for Ross.”

Linda explained that since the stroke, Janice had given up her job as a registrar to care for Ross Ross worked as an architect, and his former colleagues have also decided to hold a gentleman’s raffle because they all think so highly of him.

Linda added: “Ross should not have survived the stroke but it is the love of Janice and his family that has kept him going. Hopefully the chair and therapies will give Janice a bit of respite.

“To begin with I thought, we need to do something, I could have cried. But the generosity of all Ross’ friends and even people who don’t know him has been incredible. I’m exhausted from being excited. We are really looking forward to the race night. Ross thought he was on the scrap heap so this will give him a bit of independence.”

The race night will take place on September 16, at 7.30pm, in the Travellers Rest, Neilston.

Tickets cost £2.50. Any raffle donations would also be appreciated and you can ‘own a horse’ on the night for £5.

To support Ross, visit