AN AID worker from Ayrshire who supported Brits fleeing war-torn Sudan has told of her heartache for a woman forced to leave her terminally ill husband behind.

British Red Cross volunteer Liz Tait provided psychosocial support after being deployed to Cyprus with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) when violence erupted in Sudan.

The NHS Grampian Clinical Governance expert was part of the UK Government’s successful operation to rescue more than 2,450 people – the largest evacuation by any Western nation.

Speaking for the first time, Liz, 64, told of the harrowing cases she had to deal with when overseas.

She said: “The intensity of the violence meant that people were describing the most terrifying journeys just to escape and many of them had gunshot wounds.

“The memory that sticks most in my mind was a lady, probably the same age as me, who had to leave her terminally ill husband behind.

“They both held British passports, but he was certainly not well enough to make that journey from Sudan.

“I think he was very much towards end-of-life and she was absolutely heart-broken because she knew she would never see him again.

“It must have been the worst of dilemmas, but the husband had very much wanted her to go. He wanted to die knowing that she had escaped to safety.”

“I sat talking to her about the memories she had of their life together and reassuring her that she had made the decision that brought comfort to her husband. Her story will live with me forever.”

More than 600 people have been killed since brutal fighting broke out on April 15 between Sudan’s military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

More than 700,000 people are estimated to have been forced to flee in fear with humanitarian aid workers amongst those who have been killed.

Experienced Liz, who was born in Kilmarnock and now lives in Lossiemouth in Morayshire, was first deployed through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to support people fleeing Beirut in 2006.

She has since been involved with the Chinese earthquake in 2008, the Afghanistan evacuation in 2021, to Hurricane Irma in Dominica in 2017, and the Tunisia terror attack in 2015.

She has also been part of British Red Cross teams that have responded to the Manchester arena bombing, Grenfell Tower fire and Shoreham Air Show disaster.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:  “I’m incredibly proud of the vital work that people like Liz are doing to help the most vulnerable in response to humanitarian crises around the globe.

“People from across the UK have been at the very heart of our efforts to help people fleeing Sudan in their hour of need, and I am grateful for their tireless service and dedication.

“The UK has coordinated the longest and largest evacuation of any Western country and brought 2450 people to safety from Sudan.  

“Our priority now is to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those who need it and to continue to press for a long-term ceasefire.”