Joan and Jimmy brave the Loony Dook

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An Ardrishaig mother started off the new year by braving the freezing temperatures of the South Queensferry Loony Dook in aid of the unit that saved her two daughters born prematurely.

In a move that made spectators shiver in their boots, Joan Williamson ran into the Forth from the shores by the Queenferry Crossing road bridge with her son Jimmy to raise money for the Simpsons Special Care Babies Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

After an emergency Caesarean section delivered her two daughters, Star and Angel, two months prematurely, Joan and the girls were left in a bad way. Joan suffered a ruptured placenta, while the twins were fragile, unable to breathe and only two pounds each in weight.

Thanks to the skilled hands of staff at the unit, Star and Angel were sent home after eight weeks of intensive care in neo-natal incubators.

The twins are now lively five-year-olds who enjoy attending Ardrishaig Primary School.

Joan told the Argyllshire Advertiser in October: ‘Neither I nor the kids would be here if it wasn’t for the staff at the Simpsons neonatal unit.’

To show her thanks and help others in this horrifying situation, Joan and her family have been fundraising for the Simpsons unit with a donation page, coffee mornings, and now by running into freezing waters.

Joan said: ‘It was colder than I ever could have imagined.’

On a sunny January 1, surrounded by other brave fundraisers in fancy dress, Joan and Jimmy ran into the icy water – and quickly back out.

It seems to have paid off, however, with Joan raising £923 and counting.

There is always room for more donations so if you would like to contribute, visit mydonate.bt.com and search ‘Star and Angel’ in the fundraisers tab or find the link on Joan’s Facebook page: @FundRaisingForSimpsonsSpecialCareBabiesSSCB