Radio legend Tom Morton’s daughter saved his life


A SCOTS radio legend has revealed how his medical student daughter saved his life during a heart attack.

Tom Morton, who has spent over 20 years with BBC Scotland, is bowing out of the show after being rushed to hospital.

The 59-year-old was stricken with crippling chest pains at his remote family home on Shetland.

Tom with his daughter, Martha, in 2010
Tom with his daughter, Martha, in 2010


He cried out to his third-year-medical student daughter, 20-year-old Martha, when he realised the crushing pain was more than indigestion.

“I was in the kitchen when I felt this dreadful pain down my left arm and realised my life could be in danger,” said the presenter of Radio Scotland’s Morton Through Midnight programme.

“She rushed in to see what had happened and spotted the signs of a coronary attack.”

Desperate to save her dad, the Aberdeen University student called her mum, Susan, a local GP.

She urged Martha to give her father an aspirin and wait for her to travel the ten minute journey to the family home in Hillswick, on the main island.

Martha is in her third year studying medicine at Aberdeen University
Martha is in her third year studying medicine at Aberdeen University


Tom said: “Susan piled me into the car and drove me to her surgery where I got a medical spray, which opened arteries blocking blood to my heart, and painkilling morphine.”

An ambulance then took Tom to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.

He was later flown by emergency air ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where a diagnostic angiogram revealed a major artery was 75% narrowed.

Susan said they are both delighted with their daughter’s quick response.

“Tom was lucky,” she said. “Martha’s quick action was vital and we are proud of the way she coped.

“It was not easy watching her dad struggling.”

Last week, Tom revealed that he has suffered from high cholesterol and soaring blood pressure for several years.

The pie and fish supper-lover revealed: “I have been kept alive by heart protecting statin drugs for the past 20 years.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t be here today without them.”


He inherited a risk of heart disease from his mother Effie, who died from a heart attack at 49.

“I got the chance to survive, that she never got,” Tom added.

His close call with death has forced the popular radio man to give up his late night slot.

Former Radio Clyde DJ Suzie McGuire is set to take over his radio show.

Tom said: “I cannot work til 1am because the pressure won’t help me make a good recovery.

“After consulting Susan and the kids I have decided that my life is obviously more important.

“It’s not an option to ignore what happened to me.”