A HERO driver who helped rescue dozens of people stranded in the snow then faced a race against time — to help his own seriously ill mum.

Greenock dad Colin Macdonald was one of a team working hand-in-hand to get patients to hospital, including a three-year-old boy who had taken unwell.

In some of the worst snowfalls ever witnessed in Inverclyde, Colin went out in his 4x4 helping anyone who needed it, including nurses and NHS staff trying to get their work.

Then he was plunged into a panic when he took a telephone call to say his mum had become ill in Braeside and the ambulance called to help her was stuck.

When Colin arrived on the scene all the neighbours in Davaar Road — men, women and children — were out in the blizzard to clear a path to get his mum to Inverclyde Royal.

Colin, 46, said: “ It was amazing and one of the best things I have ever seen.

“It will stay with me forever. 

“I arrived in Davaar Road and the neighbours were out digging the snow.

“Kids were out, parents, everyone.

“The paramedics fought their way up to her house and put mum in a chair. It was like curling — everyone was brushing away the snow in front of her to get her down to the ambulance.

“It shows you what old-fashioned spirit really is.

“Everyone was out there looking out for one another.

“My mum had fallen really ill and they thought it was a stroke. We were frantic.”

His mum Liz, 72, said: “I honestly cannot thank all my neighbours enough, each and every one of them, for what they did.”

Liz was at home with her husband Eddie last Thursday and fell ill when the weather was at its very worst.

They dialled 999 but the ambulance could only make it to the  start of the street.

After her neighbours rallied round to let the paramedics through she was then rushed to hospital and kept in for tests.

Liz is now recovering back at home.

During the terrible weather Colin and his friend Billy Beckett, of BB Autos, pictured, were answering as many SOS calls as they could.

Colin said: “It was certainly the worst I have ever experienced but we were just happy to help. It was hairy at times though when we had people in the back of the car with dislocated knees and suchlike.”

They made treacherous journeys to Quarrier’s Village to help care workers, picked up nurses looking to get to IRH and also delivered prescriptions for local chemists, including McAnerney Pharmacy.

Colin and Billy were praised by Greenock mum Laura Robertson, who was unable to get her three-year-old son Sami to a doctor for an emergency appointment.

He drove to her rescue and rushed them straight to Greenock Health Centre, where it was discovered Sami had severe tonsillitis and an ear infection.

Laura, 35, from Westmorland Road, said: “Colin and these people out there helping were amazing.

“I don’t know what I would have done without him.

“My son Sami had a really high temperature overnight, it went to up to 39, I was snowed in and couldn’t get my car out.

“My sister saw posts on social media from Colin and friends offering to help, messaged them and next thing Colin was at the door.

“He took me to the health centre then he even went in and got the prescription for me.

“There are such amazing people out there just doing anything they can to help people.”