THANK YOU, SON!
Schoolboy Gregor kept his desperate dad in the recovery position until the emergency services arrived when a traditional coming-of-age father-and-son adventure took a dramatic turn for the worse.
It was almost at the end of a family vacation back home to Scotland when Paul decided to take Gregor on his first 'Bothy trip' on the Glenfinnan Estate, home of the famous 'Hogwarts Railway' viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, staying in spartan shelters hidden away in the hills. It is a classic starting point for access into Knoydart by walking up Glen Finnan to Loch Arkaig and then via Glen Dessary into the Knoydart mountains.
"Many bothys were originally people's homes and they provide shelter for hill walkers and mountaineers free of charge," explained Paul. "Some have electricity, some do not, but pretty much all have the potential for the setting of a blazing log fire to keep warm.
"Gregor and I had pushed our benches together, in fact just in case he fell off when he was sleeping. Then early in the morning Gregor said that I rolled on to his bench and started convulsing, unresponsive to his calls. Then I started foaming at the mouth, came off the bench and struck my head and face on the stone fireplace.
"Gregor continued to try and wake me for 10 to 15 minutes but there was no response."
Fortunately, at this point the estate's manager Alastair Gibson started his normal check on the bothy and heard Gregor's call for help and they lifted Paul off the floor and back on to the bench.
"When the estate manager went to find phone reception Gregor had to hold me in place in the recovery position as I was still convulsing," said Paul.
"Alastair had to get back into his Land Rover and drive until he got a mobile phone signal to ring the emergency services.
"Gregor was very scared throughout according to the medics but was also very stoic.
"The police also packed and brought all our kit to the hospital. Gregor said that the police spoke to him again and they talked about the bothy and they told him his dad would be fine.
"I came to surrounded by people in high visibility vests and uniforms and had no idea what was going on. Ambulance staff explained that I had suffered a seizure.
"The emergency services were brilliant! Obviously Gregor was distressed but he was reassured by the officers and even got to switch on the blue lights during the trip.
"Between the bothy and a hospital's accident & emergency ward I was drifting in and out of consciousness and each time I remember my wee boy holding my hand really tight with big puffy eyes."
Paul underwent tests in hospital in Royal Deeside and it was confirmed that he had suffered a 'Grand Mal Seizure' and he underwent tests for six hours including a CT scan, blood and urine tests before being released.
A grand mal seizure causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions and results from abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain.
He is now recovering at home in Hidd with his wife, Heather, and has been told not to drive for six months or until the cause of the seizure can be clearly identified. He hopes an MRI scan may help solve the riddle as he has never suffered anything like it before.
Heather had been staying with friends and family when the boys went off on their adventure and tongue-in-cheek mentioned 'that's what happens when there is no woman around'!
Paul, Bahrain Information Affairs News Anchor, has had spells as general manager of the Dilmun Club and Yacht Club, as well as being a popular 'housewife's choice' Radio Bahrain show host for many years.
He originally came to the kingdom in 1994 after being sub-contracted from the UK to work with the Sheraton at its Al Layali lounge before moving to work for Hyatt in Dubai. That only lasted five months because he didn't enjoy life in the UAE and decided to come back to Bahrain and soon became a familiar face on the entertainment scene, gigging in numerous venues including the Londoner, Warbler and Henry's nightspots.
He left Bahrain a decade later for a short spell in Australia before returning home to Aberdeen in 2005 to pursue his passion for cooking and to enhance his hospitality industry skills.
He returned in 2010 to help with the pre-opening of Hotel Diva, Juffair and co-ordinated with Gama Hospitality on marketing and design of two outlets, taking on the role of manager of DCs and Kicks. He was promoted after two years to F&B and the new management role also covered the La CafAaAaAeA@, Davy Crocketts, alongside banquets and room servic
Paul also found time to combine his love of radio and television and become the host of the Lifestyle show on Bahrain TV. He'll be back on the small screen on TV News on Monday.
As for his hero son who attends St Christopher's School, Paul said: "The day after the incident, Gregor brought me my coffee and an egg roll and I asked him to grab something for me from upstairs and I got: 'Dad ... really? Yesterday I saved your life - today I've brought you your breakfast' ..."
You can't ask more than that.
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