Alan Campbell – Buddy
Born and bred in Dumfries, a proper “Doonhamer”, third child of four to John and Betty, I have brothers Michael and Paul but tragically lost my eldest brother John in 2001 in a road accident at age 38, making that a year I’ll, never forget. It was the foot & mouth year but also, I became a fully qualified Ambulance Paramedic
I attended Noblehill and Georgetown Primaries, then Dumfries High School.
Initially I was a vehicle spray painter for Penmans among others, before going to work at J & D McGeorge’s, (where both my parents had worked), as a computerised machine operator. Here, I met my wife Sheila. We have two adult sons, celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2021 and also in that momentous year, Grandson Theo arrived, giving us both pride and pleasure.
I joined the Ambulance service in 1994 as an Ambulance Care Assistant progressing onto the Accident and Emergency side as ‘Ambulance Technician’ and in 2001 was about to commence Paramedic training when we lost John. Initially I struggled with the course but pushed myself along, saying “I’m going to do this for John”
With over thirty years in the Scottish Ambulance Service, I have quite a few years till retirement, something I thought I’d never reach when diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in April 2021.
As a Paramedic I have issues with musculoskeletal injuries after years of manual handling in difficult situations and was on night shift duty in April 1st, of all dates, when my back went into spasm during a 999 call. My colleagues attended and whisked me to hospital.
The day before, I’d seen my GP about two weeks of back, groin and hip pain and blood samples were taken, the nurse practitioner “ticking the box” for an additional PSA test from the bloods. If she hadn’t ticked the box I’d have been no wiser and am sure she saved my life.
A few days after the hospital episode my GP practice called, asking me to come and discuss my blood results. My world collapsed as I was told I might have Prostate Cancer with a raised PSA of 7.5.
My tears expressed my fears to my family and regrettably it took many weeks to pluck up courage to contact Prostate Buddies, having heard the radio adverts. Roly Proudlock was my contact in September 2021 and we quickly met for a coffee. Honestly, this was one of the best 40-minute conversations I’ve ever had, taking a massive weight off my shoulders.
Then Covid got in the way.
Seeing a hospital specialist was severely delayed and it became a nightmare, those long weeks resulting in many sleepless nights, but Roly was always there when needed, giving advice and encouragement and saving my sanity, giving all the support and information needed.
After my ultrasound biopsy appointment in September 2021 I was told to expect results within two to four weeks but Covid delays made it ten, the diagnosis being two tumours in my Prostate.
Covid delayed surgery until April 19th 2022 in Edinburgh but I was home the next day with a catheter in place. Thanks to Roly I knew what side effects I might experience and by December 2022 I had regained bladder control.
I’m back to full time work, now as Paramedic Team Leader, watching Theo grow, only looking forward and being a Prostate Buddy, I strongly advise all men over 50 to request a PSA test from their GP.