Stabbing changed both of our lives

Lorraine and Ryan want an end to knife crime
Lorraine and Ryan want an end to knife crime
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It’s the kind of news that every mother prays they will never have to hear.

One of their children has been seriously injured in an unprovoked assault.

That’s the reality that Lorraine Thomson had to face on the evening of February 19 last year.

Her son Ryan, who was just a week away from celebrating his 16th birthday, had been stabbed whilst waiting with his girlfriend for her to be collected by her parents.

Following emergency life-saving surgery at Stirling Royal Infirmary, Ryan has slowly regained his health and is now getting on with his life.

But countless other victims of knife crime in Scotland have not been so lucky.

Now Ryan and Lorraine have decided to speak out against Scotland’s shameful ‘booze ‘n’ blades’ culture.

“I wouldn’t want any parent to have to go through what we’ve been through,” Lorraine (37) said.

Ryan was weeks away from sitting his exams at Grangemouth High School when he was stabbed in the stomach by a boy he had never previously met - Daniel Underwood, then 17.

Underwood pled not guilty to all charges but was sentenced to a total of three years in High Court in Glasgow last month after a trial described by judge Lord Ballantyne as one of the quickest in his career.

Ryan had to abandon his dream of joining the army following the attack, as he was barred from sitting the medical test.

“It was a disappointment.

“But I was determined to get on with things. I didn’t want to be remembered as the boy that got stabbed,” Ryan said.

The talented footballer was back training with Gairdoch United just five weeks after the incident, and has since secured a full-time apprenticeship with Falkirk Council.

But Ryan’s recovery has been far from easy for him and his family.

He admits to occasionally feeling “very angry” at what happened.

And every day brings back painful memories for mum Lorraine and dad Mark.

“People need to take responsibility for their actions, and realise the devastating consequences that carrying a knife can have,” she said.

“I want young people to feel empowered enough to be able to stand up and say no to people around them who carry weapons.”