|Beach Ballroom Aberdeen 22July16 [met my future husband there Spring 1971]|
Said Emeritus Professor Ian Reid to me in an Email shortly before he died in June 2014. We had got back in touch after I'd copied him into another Email sent to his former colleagues at Ninewells Hospital working in DAIS/Dundee Advanced Interventions Service which provided NMD/neurosurgery for mental disorder or, as I called it, brain surgery for mental illness.
I had first met Ian at the SEAN/Scottish ECT Accreditation Network conference at Stirling University in October 2011 and thought he was a mental health service user. He wore a big woolly jumper and was sitting at the lunch table with other folk who I knew through MH matters, and got annoyed with me when I spoke out against ECT, saying how my Mother got many shock treatments against her will at Murray Royal, for no good reason or suchlike.
I didn't know that the woman about my age at the table, taking her soup through a straw, was the poster girl/main spokesperson at the panel later on, FOR ECT. And I was in the front row when she told the story of her husband calling the CPN/community psychiatric nurse to get her more ECT, as if this was a good thing. I was horrified, my face would have said it all, couldn't hide it. Also on the panel were Dr Lyons, head of the Mental Welfare Commission at the time, and maybe another 2 folk with Lived Experience. Can't remember exactly as it wasn't a positive experience, having to sit through stuff which I disagreed strongly with.
I didn't know until after this event that Prof Reid was the "king of ECT" as I called him [blog post I wrote with a play on words], a key proponent of the treatment, even being called as an expert for the programme 'Call the Midwife', to advise, so he told me. And he was on the BBC giving ECT to a man in Aberdeen where he worked, although I said at the time that if he had given it to an old wifie against her will then they would never have broadcast it. Would cause an uproar and an outcry.
Then Ian bullied me in an Email one Sunday not long after this SEAN event and had to apologise, inviting me up to Aberdeen to meet his colleagues and a woman who asked for ECT, found it useful. He met me from the train and gave me a lift in his car to the cafe for lunch, it stank of smoke and everytime he got out of the car he lit up a fag. I'm not keen on fag smoke, my Mother was a smoker, it helped her counteract the effects of the Depixol antipsychotic injection she was on for life, due to abusive psychiatric treatment in her earlier years.
That was in January 2012 when I first met up with Ian in Aberdeen and he talked about having me speak about mental health recovery to his colleagues and students at a later date, however in the February my son went into Stratheden Hospital and my life changed, I became a whistleblower. And Ian continued to engage with me by Email, sharing journal articles, stories from his past, we had things in common, both worked in Woolies as teenager, he in Dunfermline, me in Perth. Ian also said he had read my Dad Willie Patterson's Jeff Hawke stories with his Grandpa, when a wee boy.
I met up with Ian for a second and last time in February 2014, lunch in an Aberdeen cafe, for I thought he lived in the city or nearby, but I found out later, from the funeral notices that he actually lived near Dundee, in Newtyle, Angus. At our lunch, upstairs in a cafe off Union St, he sucked on an Ecig surrepticiously, and I noticed that he struggled a bit with the stairs, as if he was in pain. He walked me to the bus stop and as he left I felt a sadness because I couldn't have worked with him on ECT research being so against the treatment. I'd have tried to influence folk against it, was biased.
And when he told me about his Emeritus title and terminal lung cancer a few weeks before he died, again I felt sad. I received word of his passing in a text from his wife when I was in St Mary's Monastery, Kinnoull Hill, Perth, at a MH event. What a great loss, I thought, especially to his teenage daughter, not having her Dad around any more, for I'd seen photos of her with her friends and Ian on his facebook. I could empathise as I lost my dad in 1969 at 16yrs old when he never came back from London, although I saw him once briefly in 1971 at Belsize Rd to check he was ok, then was at his funeral in 1986 down there, Kensal Green.
I was aiming to attend Professor Reid's memorial service at the University Chapel in Aberdeen and had bought train tickets in advance but I wasn't well on the day, had flu and couldn't make it. I was very busy that year attending MH events in London, Manchester, Scotland, it caught up with me, had to rest. And then in the September 2014 I got word from the Ombudsman that I'd won my case against NHS Fife for "unreasonable treatment" of my son in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital, February 2012:
|link to Express article|