Pipers pay a visit to ill fan

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Bagrock stars Red Hot Chilli Pipers made a heart-warming trip to hospital to play a private mini performance for an ill fan who was unable to attend their recent Hebridean Celtic Festival headline slot.

Three band members made the secret trip to Western Isles Hospital on the afternoon of their festival performance to surprise fan, Isobel Macdonald.

The 32-year-old from Tong was taken into hospital with a chest infection which meant she was unable to attend the festival despite having purchased tickets months before.

So, when Isobel couldn’t go to the concert, the Pipers decided to take the concert to her.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she grinned, “For the first time in my entire life I was speechless – I literally couldn’t get any words out.”

Kevin Macdonald, Gary O’Hagan and Dougie McCannce strolled into the hospital in full stage gear of kilts, sporrans and pipes and made their way to surprise Isobel who was completely in the dark about her special guests.

“Everyone in the hospital knew the Pipers were in the house when we marched in and played a few tunes,” laughed Kevin Macdonald.

“It was something we were very happy to do when we were told she couldn’t attend. To say she was surprised is the understatement of the year.

“We played a wee traditional number in the hospital as she couldn’t make the show that night. We hope she is on the mend now.”

The surprise visit left Isobel, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, stuck for words as she reflected on an afternoon she will never forget.

“I was pretty poorly but I was especially gutted to be missing the festival as I’d bought a weekend ticket. The Chilli Pipers are my favourite band but I wasn’t well enough to go,” she said.

“I was sleeping a lot and I was half woken up by a knock on the door of my room in the hospital. “My cousin Christine popped her head in and asked if I was awake. I said I wasn’t really but she said she had some visitors and in three of the Pipers walked in.”

She added: “They played a song for me in the room and it was just unbelievable. Everyone loved it and although it was happening I kept thinking that things like this don’t happen in real life.

“They also gave me a t-shirt and a copy of their new CD too – signed.

“It was pretty awesome and it made my day.”

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers headlined the Friday night of the 21st annual Hebridean Celtic Festival.

The dates for next year’s HebCelt have been confirmed as 19 - 22 July 2017.