Ninewells doctors ‘worth their weight in gold’ after saving life of ex Dundee footballer John

John Black

The family of a former Dundee youth footballer left in a coma after an alleged serious assault have said that the doctors who saved his life are “worth their weight in gold”.

John Black, from Blairgowrie, was rushed to Ninewells Hospital following the alleged assault at Old Hawkhill, Dundee, in the early hours of October 8.

The 20-year-old spent more than a week in intensive care and, earlier this week, his mother June revealed her son is now recovering well after an operation on his skull.

Now, John’s sister Jenna has launched a fundraiser to thank the Ninewells staff who have treated him — which has already doubled its £500 target.

Jenna said: “A&E doctors saved his life, then John was admitted to intensive care and spent the next three days in a medically-induced coma.”

Doctors attempted to wake John up, said Jenna, but there was too much pressure on his brain.

He was immediately taken to theatre for life-saving surgery and spent a further five “gut-wrenching” days on life support.

Jenna added: “On Tuesday, doctors told us that John was stable enough for the waking-up process to start and, being the warrior that he is, he came round.

“John has since been moved to a high-dependency ward — where he will begin his journey to recovery, surrounded by people who love him and healthcare professionals looking after him every step of the way.

“We are all in complete awe of John’s sheer strength, fight and determination.

“The care, support and respect John has been shown by surgeons, healthcare assistants, consultants, nurses, doctors, dieticians, physios, occupational therapists and speech therapists is second to none — these people really are worth their weight in gold.”

John had his head shaved before the surgery and now a group of his friends, including footballers, are set to shave their heads to help raise money for the cause.

Jenna added: “Ryan Menzies, Jamie Robson, Jamie Moran, Kevin Cownie, Keir Reilly and Gary Shields have put themselves forward.

“Charlene O’Brien and Declan McKenna have offered their barbering services.

“We’d like to raise money for those who have cared for John and supported us — the money will help with patients and their families’ comforts during unimaginable times.

“Here’s to the staff who saved John’s life and the boys putting their vanity aside to show they’re supporting him in every way.”

People wanting to contribute to Jenna’s fundraising effort can visit

Joy as ex Dundee FC youth player wakes after life-saving operation