Dr Marion Frances Gibson (nee Murray) (1971 - 2017)

05 July 2017

Dr Marion Frances Gibson, known professionally as Dr Marion Murray, died in January 2017, aged 45, after a long battle with leukaemia.

Marion was brought up in Edinburgh. Her natural empathy, love of life and academic talent lead to a career in Clinical Psychology. She was awarded a first class honours BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Biological Sciences from the University of Edinburgh in 1993, completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Stirling in 1998, and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bangor, Wales, in 2000.

Marion came back to Edinburgh to work as a Clinical Psychologist in the Scottish Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Astley Ainslie Hospital and the Lanfine Service for people with progressive neurological conditions. She took a newly established post in the Lothian Managed Clinical Network for Stroke in May 2004, bringing her talent for teaching and research and skill in multidisciplinary working to the challenge of establishing psychologically informed stroke care across the region. She was a highly skilled, empathic clinician, who was entirely modest about her achievements.  

Marion was an early member of the Scottish Neuropsychology Network, established 2000, which later became the Scottish Branch of the Division of Neuropsychology. A Full Practitioner Member of the DoN since May 2003, she also served on the DoN (Scotland) committee, and helped establish a network of Stroke Neuropsychologists. Marion created and enriched connections amongst people in the many spheres she touched. She was like the glue that held people together, organising business meetings and social schedules alike. 

In October 2012 Marion was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. This devastating blow brought immense challenges. Marion was determined to live life to its fullest, including getting back to work. She returned to work briefly in August 2013 after extensive chemotherapy. Not until after two bone marrow transplants was Marion able again to return to work in September 2015, becoming a valued mentor to new colleagues. In November 2016, the leukaemia recurred. Marion was able to spend a last loving Christmas with her family.

Marion was full of energy and passion for life and we feel her loss greatly. Her many friends at work have described her wonderful smile, her warmth of spirit, empathy, outstanding organisational abilities, dependability, her joy, passion, energy and her love.

Marion's D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, “Parental disclosures of Down’s Syndrome” begins with a quote from a mother “.. I sat down besides him and I said 'Now you see those two on the telly like, they're just like you, you're like them. They've got something called Down Syndrome and you've got it as well. You're a Down's boy’. And he said 'I'm not mummy. I'm not down, I'm not down ..........I'm up’. That's what he said ‘I'm up', and he is".

And this is how we will remember Marion, not down but up. She is survived by her husband and two children, her parents, brothers and their families. And many, many friends and colleagues who will miss her very much.