Hawick family unite to thank hospital staff who helped save talented young rugby player's life

The grateful family of a talented Hawick teenage rugby player who spent almost a month in a coma after a car crash in January have joined a fundraising effort to thank the hospital staff who put him on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 2:48 pm
Graham family... mum Leah, Clark, dad Ali, brother Darcy and sister Rhianna. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Seventeen-year-old Clark Graham spent three and a half weeks in a coma after he was involved in a car crash near Ashkirk.

Clark, who had just passed his test and was driving, was on his way from his home in Hawick to McDonald’s in Galashiels at the time of the accident.

Clark suffered a brain injury and spent four and a half months in hospital.

Steven Cook and Justin Tait. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

But thanks to the work of NHS staff at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the city’s Astley Ainslie hospital and the Borders General he has gone on to make a remarkable recovery and returned home last month.

Clark, whose older brother is Scottish rugby international Darcy Graham, is a member of Hawick Rugby RFC Under-18s.

And on Sunday club members staged a fundraising car wash at the town’s Weensland Car Wash to raise funds for the Astley Ainslie hospital, raising £1,500 in the process.

It was a chance to celebrate Clark’s recovery from his ordeal and club members were joined by the young man himself, in addition to his brother Darcy, sister Rhianna and mum and dad Leah and Ali.

Cian Riddell, Clark Graham and Marcus Brogan. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Meanwhile, Darcy has described his younger brother’s recovery as an “absolute miracle”.

He said: “Clark is doing well and the recovery has been good. He’ll live a very good life. It’s been very challenging.

"He’s been in the Astley Ainslie and they’ve done an amazing job. He’s back walking, showering – he can do everything himself. It’s just his balance is a wee bit off and his speech is a bit slower, but that will come back.

"He probably shouldn’t be here. That’s the hardest part. He had somebody looking after him that day.”

Paul McDonald, Hawick Youth RFC under-18s manager, said: “Hawick Youth RFC raised over £1,500 on a charity car wash on Sunday with half of the proceeds going to the Astley Ainslie Hospital who supported one of their young talented players Clark Graham with his recovery from a serious road accident in January.

"Players and the committee teamed up with the Graham family and got stuck in and washed cars non-stop from 9:30am until calling a halt at 3:30pm. The club is overwhelmed with the patience and generosity of everyone who got their car washed or simply handed in a donation.

"It was fantastic to see Clark there too, looking well and helping his teammates too. “We’re grateful to Brodie Graham at Weensland Car Wash for allowing us to use their facilities for the event.

"The other half of the proceeds are going towards the U-18s tour to Ireland in August which was postponed from earlier this year.”