'Superwoman' surgeon thanked for eight-mile snow trek

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Media captionSurgeon thanked for trekking through heavy snow

A surgeon who trekked through the snow for almost three hours to operate on a cancer patient has been called a "superwoman" by the man she treated.

Consultant surgeon Lindsey Chisholm walked eight miles from her home in the west of Glasgow to the hospital in Paisley despite a red alert for snow.

Miss Chisholm told BBC Scotland she "didn't think it was a big deal".

But patient Iain McAndrew said it was "truly amazing" that she had gone to such lengths to get to the hospital.

Image caption Iain McAndrew said his surgeon was a superwoman

Heavy snow and freezing temperatures brought much of Scotland to a standstill last week.

A red alert for snow came into force on Wednesday afternoon and despite a warning not to travel, hundreds of motorists spent the night stuck in their vehicles on the M80 near Cumbernauld due to the conditions.

Miss Chisholm said she struggled to make it back to her home in Anniesland on Wednesday and decided she could not drive back to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley the next day.

Image caption Miss Chisholm's office has lots of thank you cards from patients

Instead she got up early and walked the eight miles to the hospital to carry out an operation on Mr McAndrew, a colon cancer patient.

She said: "I do a bit of winter walking and I've got decent equipment and clothing and a pair of snow-shoes so I thought I could walk to work.

"I got up early on Thursday morning, saw there was quite a lot of snow but it didn't look impossible."

She says her trek was "really quiet", with barely a car or pedestrian on the roads.

Miss Chisholm said her biggest concern was whether there would be someone in the control box at the Clyde Tunnel, which would take her south of the river, to open the pedestrian access gates.

When she finally arrived at the hospital, two colleagues took one look at her dressed in a her winter gear with goggles and snow poles and started laughing.

Image caption Charge Nurse Liz Williamson, Miss Lindsey Chisholm (Consultant Surgeon) and Dr Radha Sundaram (Consultant Anaesthetist) were three of theatre staff that worked on Thursday

Miss Chisholm said: "I didn't think it was big deal.

"I had the right equipment, I knew there was no avalanche risk, I was not going to get lost, there were places I could stop on the way if the weather did become absolutely terrible so I just didn't think anything of it."

The surgeon said plenty of other staff had managed to make it in, and the hospital actually ran five operating theatres that day.

Miss Chisholm also performed a second cancer operation later in the day.

Cancer patient Iain McAndrew told BBC Scotland he was "gobsmacked" when he saw the surgeon arrive still wearing her winter walking gear.

He said he had been sat listening to phone calls from staff who were struggling to get in and was convinced his surgery would not go ahead.

Image caption The operation took place at the Royal Alexandra in Paisley on Thursday

Mr McAndrew said: "When she walked in my heart took a wee jump. I thought it was amazing. If there is a real-life superwoman she is it.

"She told me my operation would be on, which made me a very happy chappy.

"It felt like a Christmas Day because she came in with all her winter stuff on and she told me she had walked in from her home.

"I couldn't believe she'd walked nearly eight miles to do surgery on me.

"She's just a very nice person and I hope people applaud what she has done for me and what she has done for the NHS to prove that the good people work for the NHS."