Remarkable legacy of a born fighter

AN INSPIRATIONAL Glasgow woman who was not expected to reach her first birthday has left a lasting legacy of care.

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Camille Maryse McClymont
Camille Maryse McClymont

Camille Maryse McClymont, 22, who was born in Paisley, suffered from severe Cerebral Palsy.

She sadly died a few months ago but her spirit inspired the development of a facility for adults with disablities in France and a care home in Cornwall - both of which have been named after her in tribute.

Camille, who lived in Brunswick Street in the city centre, moved to Cornwall with her family when she was five so that she could go to a specialist school.

Her father William McClymont, 67, an art director and writer who is originally from Govan, said: "Camille's personality was infectious. People were drawn to her. She was a remarkable young woman."

Mr McClymont added: "We were told at six-months-old that she wouldn't live to see her first birthday.

"She did. Then her second, fifth, 10th and 20th.

"She was a typical Glaswegian. Telling her she couldn't do something made her even more determined."

When Camille was just six months old she was staying at the family's holiday home in Sauveterre, Bordeaux when she fell seriously ill and had to undergo life-saving brain surgery.

A local doctor said that her prognosis was zero and her family was told 'take her home and give her lots of love and affection as there is nothing else we can do'.

Camille, who has three sibilings, was given the last rites by a French priest and returned to Glasgow with her father and mother Dolly, now 62. But she thrived.

Years later the family were approached by Suaveterre mayor Monsieur Yves d'Amecourt who said that he, inspired by Camille, wanted to buy the family's holiday home and transform it into flats for disabled people so that they could stay in the centre of town and work locally.

The project was called La Maison de Camille.

Mr McClymont said: "When Camille heard about the plans for La Maison de Camille she was beaming

"Camille was severely disabled. She could not speak, had very complexed needs and couldn't do anything for herself.

"But she understood two languages.

"She could enjoy films and TV programmes in English and French.

"She loved food and she loved to travel.

"We drove from Cornwall to Casa Blanca twice in her motorhome, the 'Mac Mobile', after she saw the film and fell in love with it."

At 19, Camille finished school in Cornwall and her family struggled to find somewhere which could support her.

So they decided to transform their home and turned the bottom half into a care home for Camille.

They registered the facility and secured a contract with the local Primary Care Trust to create Camille's Nest.

Mr McClymont added: "There was nowhere to support her so we decided to make it happen ourselves.

"We had a care home within a family home - this is the first of its kind in the country, I understand.

"Camille had a team of 10 people who absolutely adored her. That is just the kind of girl she was."

SADLY Camille did not live to see the supported living flats in Sauveterre officially launched last week, as she passed away in August.

Mr McClymont said: "In March 2013 Camille became very ill but she made a recovery.

"But later in August while on holiday she again fell ill and her condition deteriortaed further.

"After a brief spell in intensive care she went home where she died very pleacefully in her own bed, in her own room, surrounded by her favourite things and favourite people."

Camille's family say her memory will live on forever in the adults that La Maison de Camille helps in her name.

Her father added: "The name of the facility is very important, La Maison de Camille.

"It couldn't have happened without her."

linzi.watson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Families

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