Family devastated after grandfather killed by infection just four days after complaining of pain


A GOLFING grandfather was killed by a flesh-eating bug just four days after complaining of a sore leg.

Allan Bowman woke up in pain two weeks ago at his home, thinking that he had merely pulled a muscle.

But when the pain worsened the 63-year-old was admitted to hospital with a suspected blood clot.

Mr Bowan with his wife, Anne, at his 60th birthday party
Mr Bowan with his wife, Anne, at his 60th birthday party


Allan, who has just retired and bought a new home, underwent emergency surgery.

But when his kidneys failed it emerged he was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial infection that attacks soft tissue.

Distraught wife Anne – who was his childhood sweetheart – even asked for his leg to be removed in order to stop the bug spreading but medics said it would not guarantee his survival.

Mrs Bowman, 60, said her husband – who retired just two months ago and planned a number of trips for the next few months – “always had a smile” and “loved his buddies and family”.

The keen golfer woke up at his home in Ellon, Aberdeenshire on Saturday 23 February and complained his leg was sore.

But when the pain worsened the following Tuesday wife Anne – who worked as a staff nurse at NHS Grampian – rushed him to the out-of-hours GP service after she suspected he had a blood clot.



Her husband, who had worked for 13 years as a publicity assistant with Aberdeenshire Council, was then rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and taken into surgery after doctors suspected he had an infection in his leg.

But he had to be moved to intensive care and put on dialysis after his kidneys began to fail.

At this point hospital staff diagnosed Mr Bowman with necrotizing fasciitis (NF) and planned further surgery.

NF is contracted when naturally occurring bacteria enter the body through wounds or cuts but in some rare cases it can be contracted even without breaks in the skin.

Bacteria enters the body and quickly reproduces and gives off toxins that destroy soft tissue which then becomes gangrenous.

NF causes excruciating pain, dangerously low blood pressure high fever and severe dehydration.

Infected tissue then has to be surgically removed in order to save the life of the patient.



But before any treatment could start Mr Bowman went into cardiac arrest.

Anne and daughter Kirsty asked if surgeons should amputate his leg to stop the infection from spreading – but were warned there were no guarantees it would save his life.

Mrs Bowman, who met her husband when she was just 10, said: “We were just trying to decide when he had another cardiac arrest and they couldn’t get him back.

“He made the decision for us.”

Devastated daughter Kirsty Ironside – who is married to partner Trevor – had to explain to children Eve, 4, and Fraser, 2, that their beloved “G-Da” had died.

Speaking from her parent’s home she said: “It’s just an unbelievably hard time right now.

“When we took the kids round after dad passed I said to Eve ‘Now when you go in you’ll see Nana but G-Da won’t be there and you won’t see him again – he’s up in heaven with the angels looking after Nana’s cat’.

“But she said she already knew because Fraser told her – he’s only a toddler but I don’t know, I guess he just knew.”

Anne added: “Nobody could walk past him. He was such a friendly person and he always had a smile. He loved his golf and his buddies and his family.”

Mr Bowman also died before son Paul and daughter-in-law Lindsay, who live in Canada, could return to Scotland from a holiday in Los Angeles.



Paul added: “I used to be embarrassed as a teenager if I was in the car with him – he would toot his horn and wave at everyone or stop to speak to them all.”

Over the next few months Anne and her husband planned to go on golfing trips, a hot-air balloon expedition and a concert.

Anne wrote a message of thanks on Facebook to friends and family for their support.

She said: “I would like to add my thanks to everyone. All the lovely messages and calls have helped Kirsty and I get through today.

“We are so lucky to have so many lovely friends – Allan would be overwhelmed by the response xxxx.”

Daughter Kirsty also wrote warmly of her father and how his grandchildren – the “poppets” – dearly loved their G-Da.

She wrote: “Sadly my dear Dad passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon.

“He was The Best Dad we could ever wish for and a G-Da the poppets loved to bits.

“Dad/G-Da you will be so missed by everyone but we have the most amazing memories.

“RIP. Love you lots xxxxxxxxx.”



She said her husband grew up at Aboyne before moving to London.

But after the death of his father he moved back to Deeside and took on a job at a local store where he became the manager.

The couple married in Aberdeen in 1974 and Mr Bowman went on to work at a supermarket before becoming a salesman for United Biscuits.

He was also the former captain, social convener and junior convener at nearby Ellon Golf Club and retired on January 31.

Mr Bowman’s funeral will be held on Saturday at Ellon Parish Church at 10.30am.