Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh trainee surgeon's memorial fund to rebuild Zambian school

William Reid and children Image copyright Reid family
Image caption William Reid visited an orphanage in Zambia as a teenager

The mother of a trainee surgeon killed in a skiing accident has told how his death has helped realise his dream of supporting poor children in Africa.

William Reid, 25, from Edinburgh, was on holiday in the Alpine resort of Avoriaz when he fell over a 30ft cliff.

His girlfriend and step-brother witnessed the tragedy on 3 January.

Now, Mr Reid's mother Sarah has revealed an online crowd-funding page has raised nearly £30,000 in his memory to rebuild and fund a school in Zambia.

Mr Reid visited a rural orphanage in the African country as a teenager in 2013, where he was moved by the plight of local children.

His mother revealed he had donated part of his pocket money to build a well for the local community.

'Bricks for desks'

Mrs Reid said: "He was so moved by his visit to an orphanage there that he planned to return one day to help them again.

"When we started the fundraising, we were hoping to achieve £5,000 to build a school in William's memory.

"The appeal has only been up and running for a few days but is close to £30,000.

"This is substantially more than we expected, so we will be working closely with the Baraka Community Partnership to help the community in other ways."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption William Reid was due to find out soon if he had secured a place on the Scottish orthopaedic training programme.

The school, called Kandindi, has been operating without state assistance since 1979. The building has a damaged thatched roof and no walls.

Its desks are bricks on the floor and the children have no books, pens or paper.

By Wednesday evening, 314 people had made donations totalling £29,283.

Mrs Reid added: "We are overwhelmed with the response that means we can help with so much more.

"William would be so touched to hear of the response this has had, and we feel this is a fitting legacy to him.

"He would be very proud."

Future career

Mr Reid was a graduate of Aberdeen University Medical School and had completed a placement at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA.

Before he died, the keen sportsman was doing foundation training in Newcastle as he prepared for a future career as a surgeon.

He was due to find out if he had secured a place on the Scottish orthopaedic training programme.

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