John’s hunt for local heroes

Picture 31/08/15 Emma Mitchell.'John and Patricia Rankin.
Picture 31/08/15 Emma Mitchell.'John and Patricia Rankin.

John Rankin doesn’t 
remember much about the day he almost drowned in 
the River Luggie.

But he knows he owes his life to two strangers who pulled him out in the nick of time.

More than a year on, 
after months of gruelling treatment including nine weeks in intensive care, John wants to track down the 
elderly lady and the man who saved him.

John (39) of Hillhead, Kirkintilloch, said: “I remember nothing about that day. I just know I had a 
seizure, blacked out and fell into the water.

“I was fishing at the time, on May 1 last year, just at the skateboard area down from Redbrae Road.

“I was told afterwards that I was in the water for several minutes. If it hadn’t been for those two people, I wouldn’t be here today.”

John’s rescuers called the emergency services. Paramedics worked on John at the scene and, near death, he was rushed to Glasgow Royal 
Infirmary.

John’s mum Patricia said: “John had to be put on a life support machine to help him to breathe and antibiotics had to be pumped into him to get rid of all the toxins in his body. His kidneys, liver and 
other internal organs were affected. He swallowed a lot of dirty water.”

Patricia told the Herald the family were told it was unlikely John would survive.

Then hope came through a last-ditch treatment.

Patricia said: “We thought that was it. John’s body wasn’t responding to the drugs, then one of the doctors said there was one last antibiotic he could try. And it worked.”

Partly paralysed, John also had to have intensive physiotherapy for months before he was able to walk again.

Patricia added: “It has been a terrible time.”

The family believe John’s rescuers come from the Kirkintilloch area and are hopeful they will get in touch so they can thank them 
properly.

Patricia said: “John has been concentrating on getting better. Now we would really love to meet up with the 
people who saved him in time for John’s 40th birthday on 
September 22.”

Patricia can be contacted through the Herald by email or on 0141 775 4514.