Comunn Eachdraidh Eige, Barbara Barrie Collection

Location: Small Isles
travel by sea

The Air Ambulance in the Small Isles

“The first Air Ambulance flight in Scotland occurred in 1933 and Dr Devon, who served as GP for Muck and the Small Isles, flew a plane onto Laig sands to raise awareness of the service which proved crucial in the case of appendicitis, a frequent cause of death in the islands.

"When Lachie MacDonald got ill with appendicitis on Muck in April 1934, Dr Devon tried her best to get the Air Ambulance for him, but she was told the plane would not fly because of weather conditions. [So his family,] the Sandys… decided… to take Lachie to Tobermory by boat despite the foul weather conditions and having to round Ardnamurchan Point. From there he was sent to the hospital in Oban by ferry; a lengthy journey which must have been very uncomfortable, however Lachie survived his ordeal and lived to a ripe old age!

"Apparently, Dr Devon eventually got the plane to fly but there was no means of communicating with Muck, so it landed at Taoluinn to find the patient had gone.”

As told by Catriona White, farmer and local historian

More information on visiting the area can be found here.