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Legacy of much-loved Ross-shire man who inspired other renal failure patients lives on after his death; Family of Colin MacPhee comforted by heart-warming public response following his death


By Philip Murray

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Colin MacPhee, who died at the age of 49.
Colin MacPhee, who died at the age of 49.

A MOVING community response to the death of a much-loved Ross-shire kidney transplant campaigner has touched the hearts of his grieving family.

Colin MacPhee, who lived with renal failure for most of his adult life, passed away at the age of 49 surrounded by family following a long illness.

His inspirational response to his plight inspired countless others as he overcome massive challenges to raise a family, set up his own business and champion the cause of organ donation for others.

The staggering response to a crowdfunding appeal set up by Mr MacPhee's wife and children to help a charity close to their hearts following his sad passing has given his family "great comfort from the huge impact he clearly had on people's lives".

Mr MacPhee, whose funeral service took place on Friday, was diagnosed with renal failure aged 22.

His deteriorating kidney function eventually required him to undergo dialysis and he received a transplant in 2010.

But, after undergoing open-heart surgery in 2015, his transplant later failed and he once again required dialysis as well as having to have the kidney removed when he developed sepsis.

Despite all of this he not only raised three children – Megan, Erin and Sean – with wife Jane, but was also a leading figure in the Highlands and Islands Kidney Patients Association (HIKPA), of which he became president.

"We cannot imagine a better way to honour him than raising awareness and funds for this vital local charity. Our heartfelt thanks for all that have donated and shared."

The impact he had on other people – through supporting them in their own renal journeys and raising awareness of the condition – has been reflected in the huge response to the fundraiser set up in his memory.

Despite setting a goal of £500, almost ten times as much has already been raised.

His family told the Journal: "We are taking great comfort from the huge impact he clearly had on people's lives.

"An amazing amount has been donated to the Highlands and Islands Kidney Patients Association. We are grateful that in his honour, the money people have donated can be used to help other families in the area struggling with renal failure.

"As a family we have first-hand experience of the impact that long-term chronic illness has. Colin was often incredibly distressed at the situations fellow renal patients found themselves in and was compelled to do whatever he could to help them.

"We cannot imagine a better way to honour him than raising awareness and funds for this vital local charity. Our heartfelt thanks for all that have donated and shared."

Mr MacPhee, who lived near Muir of Ord, was director of civil consultancy firm Gunn MacPhee & Associates in Dingwall and a tireless champion for others during his life.

Colin MacPhee with some of his loved ones in happier times.
Colin MacPhee with some of his loved ones in happier times.

"Colin was a deeply compassionate and empathetic man, which was reflected in his dedication to helping others," his family added.

"Despite his disadvantaged upbringing, Colin worked extremely hard to gain a degree, start a family, and set up his own business, all while struggling with renal failure. Coming from so little, he made sure to make the most of every moment he had with us.

"He was not a materialistic person; it was people and family that mattered to him. This has been made even clearer to us from all of the messages we have received from people telling their stories of the support and guidance Colin has provided throughout the years. We will miss him terribly and are devastated that he will no longer be here to see weddings and grandchildren."

Tributes have poured in from friends. One said: "A sad loss. A good friend, an exceptional engineer, great family man and a true gentleman. I will miss our long chats."

His funeral service was conducted under government coronavirus guidelines.

Donations can be made to HIPKA. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hikpa



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