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Karen will always be the love of my life

Derek Mackie lost his beautiful wife Karen after a long fight against heart and lung problems in November 2016. Ever since, he’s been on a fundraising mission to do something truly special in memory of her. Here he shares why Karen inspires him every day to help others.

As soon as I met Karen, that was it. I guess some would call it love at first sight, but it was more than that. I’d found the person I was meant to be with for the rest of my life. We were totally in love and lived every day to the full.

Our lives changed forever when Karen became unwell. At first she struggled to walk and couldn’t catch a breath. It was like she was trying to come up for air but couldn’t reach the surface. No one wants to see the person they love in so much pain.

Karen was always thinking of others

But still Karen was focused on keeping her friends and family happy. I remember when she was in intensive care, as soon as she woke up, she looked at me and said, “the things I put you through eh?” with the biggest smile on her face. And that was my Karen. So loving and caring, even in the darkest times.

Karen and Derek on their wedding day in 1991.

My precious wife closed her eyes for the last time on the 21st of November 2016, while she lay holding my hand. Since that day, life can be a struggle. Life without her isn’t the same but I know she would want me to carry on and make a difference to people’s lives – just as she did.

I know Karen would be so proud.

That’s why I wrote a letter at Christmas asking you to give to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in Karen’s memory, so that other families could have the gift of more time with their loved ones.

Your support makes an incredible difference

I’ve been overwhelmed by your donations and your kind messages of love and support. I could never have dreamed of Karen’s memory raising over £24,000 through the generosity of others.

Derek Mackie: overwhelmed by your donations and support

It’s helped me cope with losing the person who meant everything – and I know Karen would be so proud.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,


Donations from you make all the difference, and all the money raised stays in Scotland. Donate here at

People are leaving hospital feeling scared and alone. You can change that.

Your donation can help people do more than just survive – you can help them really live.


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