Leeds United player's act of generosity for Glasgow NHS staff after granddad survives coronavirus
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The 17-year-old, who joined the Whites from Scottish side Motherwell, wanted to show his gratitude for the care his granddad received at Wishaw General Hospital.
After messaging his cousin’s girlfriend, a nurse at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary to ask how he could help, he sent care packages for staff at both hospitals.
His mum Karen told the YEP: “The last few weeks have been really hard, his granddad has been in hospital, tested positive with coronavirus.
“He was in for nine days on ward seven in Wishaw General. Stuart’s initial thoughts were ‘I’m sitting in the house and I’d like to do something, what can I do?’.
“He messaged his cousin’s girlfriend, Lindsay, and she said things like tea and coffee keep them going. He purchased those things and individual tubs of vaseline for their faces where the masks have been cutting into them.
“He donated the two boxes of food and gave them money towards pizza or dinner for the nightshift staff and did the same for the Royal Infirmary where his cousin’s girlfriend works.”
Staff on ward 46 at Glasgow Royal managed to get two nights’ worth of dinner from the Leeds player’s donation.
“Linday said there’s two wards in the Royal Infirmary and it was greatly appreciated,” said Karen. “He just wanted to thank the staff for everything they’re doing.”
McKinstry, whose granddad, Alex, is doing well at home, having had to celebrate his 71st birthday in hospital on his own, has previous for generosity.
Last Christmas he went back over the border to spend time with his family armed with toys he had purchased, without yet knowing who to give them to.
“Stuart has always been that kind of kid,” said Karen.
“He thinks outside the box sometimes and comes out with these things.
“At Christmas, he came home with these bags of toys he had purchased when he was out shopping.
“He wanted to know if there was an orphanage or something he could give them to and I said there’s not really such a thing anymore, kids go into fostering, but there is actually a local girl in the area who does a lot of work with kids who don’t have much.
“So he donated the toys to her. He’s always had that in him.”
The desire to help others runs in the family.
“We’ve always fundraised for years and years,” said Karen.
“They’ve grown up in a house full of raffle prizes, it’s always been a standing joke that I’ve always got things ready to go for someone who needs them.
“He said to me one day, ‘mum can you just drive home the normal way rather than by every bus stop to see if anyone needs a lift?’. It’s just the way we are.
“Even now Stuart is saying, ‘mum go up the street and give our neighbour Mary a shout and see if there’s anything she needs’.
“He’s got quite a caring nature.”