Mum hits out at ‘selfish’ smokers in Ninewells fresh air garden

Blake and Jenny in Ninewells Hospital together.

A mum has hit out at people lighting up in a fresh air garden at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Jenny McMillan, 40, is the mother of Blake McMillan, a five-year-old born with MECP2 duplication syndrome — a rare genetic condition that means he cannot move or speak.

Blake’s condition means that he can be admitted to hospital at any time, with his latest stint being due to his feeding tubes becoming blocked.

However, on this occasion, Jenny, of Carnoustie, joined her son in Ninewells after contracting acute pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection of the renal pelvis and kidney.

A no smoking sign at the Ninewells Hospital fresh air garden

The pair managed to spend time together — despite being treated in different wards — by taking trips into the hospital grounds, in particular Ninewells’ fresh air garden.

However, Jenny told the Tele that they were unable to enjoy the facility due to people smoking which she says negatively impacts on Blake, who struggles to breathe because of his condition.

She said: “We went outside into the fresh air garden, but we had to go back inside because there were so many smokers. I’m not against people smoking, it is up to them what they do, I just think that it is selfish for them to use the space to smoke when there is even an announcement every few minutes that it is a no smoking area.

“I think that people should be more thoughtful. Blake was out there and people were smoking over him. He has breathing problems, so I couldn’t let him be around that and had to take him back inside.

Blake McMillan

“It isn’t fair on him and others in similar situations. There should be somewhere else for people to go to smoke, or they should make an effort to go farther away.”

It comes just days after a “miracle” took place, with little Blake defying the odds by starting school at Carlogie Primary.

Jenny said: “It was amazing for him to be able to go to school. His classmates were so excited to see him. They made a banner for him and everything.

“It really brought a tear to my eye because we nearly lost him in June and didn’t think that we would ever be in this position.”

Jenny’s experience with Blake has led her to launch multiple fundraisers in search of a cure.

She is currently auctioning a new Audi A1 Sport to fund research that could potentially lead to a cure for MECP2.

She added: “This raffle will be drawn in December and can be won by anyone in the UK.

“The prize can be delivered to where the winner lives or collected from the Audi garage in Dundee.”

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