14th November 2018
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Grieving husband touched by ‘amazing’ generosity

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Generous donations of almost £7,000 have been given after a young mother died from an undiagnosed heart condition.

A Just Giving page in memory of Anna Smith from Gulberwick has attracted more than £6,800 in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

In happier times: Anna Smith is cuddled by daughter Ava.

In happier times: Anna Smith is cuddled by daughter Ava.

The page was set up by Anna’s grieving husband, Darron, after dental nurse Anna suffered two heart attacks on 22nd January, the second of which proved fatal. She was 37.

Mr Smith set a target of £450, but the running tally of more than 350 donations has far exceeded his expectations.

Mr Smith, who works abroad for offshore company McDermott International, only set up the site after his work colleagues asked where to send charitable donations. He expected a three-figure sum to come in from workmates in Australia, Singapore and Dubai, where his company operates. However, the power of social media has resulted in funds flooding in from all quarters.

“I was working in Indonesia when I got the news, so I was two boat rides and five flights, just to get home.

“All my colleagues and work mates from overseas immediately started calling and asking about flowers and addresses for cards, and if there was any charity I could offer them to donate to.

“I set up the page really just for my workmates to be able to contribute. I was expecting just a few hundred pounds … and I sent the page to my HR manager in Singapore to distribute through the company, and I have a lot of workmates on social media.”

The link was quickly spotted on his Facebook page, and the donations quickly snowballed.

“What was meant to be for my colleagues overseas has turned into a far greater thing than I ever really imagined. It always seems to be able to surprise us, the power of social networking.”

Mr Smith described the support shown as “amazing”.

“Although it’s such a sad time, the support shown to the heart foundation is actually also showing support to me and my daughter, Ava.”

He has been printing off all the pledges of support from the Just Giving website for young Ava, four, to look back on in future years.

“Although she’s only four and a half, I’m printing off all the pages of support and all the donations from the heart foundation and putting it in a memory box, and she’ll be able to have that.”

Describing Anna’s condition, he said: “It was something she had had from birth that had never been picked up. It wouldn’t necessarily have ever been picked up, unless you were specifically looking for it. It showed itself on Thursday 22nd, and within 24 hours she had survived one cardiac arrest, and the second one took her.”

• To donate, log on to www.justgiving.com/Darron-Smith/

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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