An Irvine woman, unable to fulfill her late husband’s wish for his body to be used in Alzheimer’s research, is now raising funds for charity in his memory.

Sally Powell, 73, hadn’t seen her husband of 30 years, Jim, 74, in seven weeks when staff at his care home in Saltcoats invited her to be by his side as he passed away having contracted coronavirus.

Because of how contagious the virus is, Jim’s brain cannot be donated to research as he had always planned.

Instead, Sally and Jim’s two stepdaughters have set-up a fundraiser, with the money going to Alzheimer Scotland.

Sally told the Times: “Jim wanted to leave his brain cells to Alzheimers research, but because of COVID-19 he can’t do that. I promised him it would happen.”

On April 29, Jim passed away with Sally and his stepdaughters dressed in full PPE by his side.

Together they decided to do something positive by setting up a JustGiving page in his memory.

Sally said: “Alzheimer Scotland have given me so much support. Even when Jim went into care, the support kept going.

“If it helps others get the support they need with Alzheimers then it’s a way of doing something positive toward what he would have loved to have done.

“Alzheimer’s is a train journey, you don’t buy tickets, but Jim got one.

“But you wouldn’t see anyone on a train on their own, so I went with him.

“There’s no way out of the last journey. Jim couldn’t get off, but I could, then it came to the last stop and I had to leave him.”

Jim, a Geordie, met Sally while he was working a Hunterston Power Station.

When he was diagnosed with the disease at 63, Sally cared for him at home.

Jim had been a resident at Caledonia Care Home for four years and Sally had cared for him for seven years before that.

Sally is determined that her experience will benefit others who are caring for loved ones.

She said: “Unpaid carers are doing untold work. You could never pay them for what they do, they’re doing it out of love.

“Book learning is fine, it has its place, but carers are more likely to listen to someone that’s walked the same path.”

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