38-year-old Jon Paul McAllister and his life partner, Craig Park were on a holiday in South Africa when tragedy struck. The pair decided to go on a trip to South Africa, Madagascar, and the Seychelles in October 2018 to celebrate, in advance, their anticipated engagement which was to happen this month. The couple were also as well as McAllister’s “graduation” from chemotherapy treatment earlier that year.
McAllister, a social worker, who hailed from Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, was in Madagascar when his health deteriorated remarkably and became too sick to travel home in a commercial flight.
Prior to their vacation, Craig revealed that Jon Paul had just ended his treatment to shrink remnants of a tumor that was removed earlier. The treatment seemed to be working for McAllister hence, the couple were given the green light to go on their much-anticipated trip.
The daunting challenge to bring McAllister back home to receive proper care and to be with family and loved ones, had turned into show of true human camaraderie and compassion, bringing many well-wishers together to raise the needed money to fly McAllister home. People donated more than £25,000 ($32,000) in the hope of covering the air-ambulance costs to transport him back to the UK. Craig said that they were both “speechless” and weren’t expecting the generosity of people at all.
Friends and family had hoped to raise £35,000 and were close to achieving it when a message was posted on the campaign’s Just Giving Page, saying that Jon had passed away, mere days before his organized flight home.
News of McAllister’s death did not stop people from caring and helping. Donations still continued to pour in, weeks after news of his death had surfaced, this time to help give Jon Paul the proper Scottish send-off he deserves and to cover the costs that were incurred while at Reunion Island, a testament to the generosity of the human spirit and the restoration of faith in humanity.