BAY City Rollers idol Alan Longmuir knows that he might not be here today if not for the life-saving power of a defibrillator.
The Edinburgh-born pop star remembers the moment he woke up in hospital with the pads on his chest after being shocked back to life following a heart attack in 1991.
The 66-year-old rose from Capital plumber to pop icon with the band who captured hearts around the world with songs such as Bye, Bye, Baby and Keep On Dancing – earning them the moniker ‘the next Beatles’ in the 1970s.
Today, the band’s former bassist gave his backing to the Shockingly Easy campaign which aims to install the vital heart-start machines in sports clubs across the Lothians.
Longmuir was walking along the street near Stirling when he started to feel pains in his chest but his first thought was it was probably nothing more than indigestion.
His friend, however, persuaded him to go to hospital, where he was rushed into intensive care as medics quickly realised he was having a heart attack.
Longmuir said: “I must have slipped away on the table and so they did CPR and used a defibrillator on me.
“I can’t remember anything much.
“I just remember waking up and all these things attached to my chest.
“It was incredibly scary. When you are in hospital after something like this you are scared to shut your eyes in case you slip away. I must have watched the clock for 24 hours to try to keep awake.
“But I did live, thanks to them.”
He was in hospital for three weeks to recover and vowed afterwards to not allow himself to become so stressed by the band’s hectic touring schedule, which he was told may have led to the initial heart attack.
Lifestyle factors such as stress, obesity, smoking and high blood pressure can contribute to a heart attack, which can then cause a cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating entirely.
Unfortunately he was back in hospital in 1995 when he suffered a second heart attack, but he was able to seek medical help quickly as he recognised the symptoms.
Pledging his support to the campaign, Longmuir said: “I had lots of pals who have died from this sort of thing – young guys who were in their 30s – when it could have been prevented.
“I think it could make a real difference.
“Things are not as bad as they were, but we need more defibrillators.”
Longmuir, who now lives in Bannockburn with his wife, Eileen, added: “I had been quite fit and healthy at that time.
“We were never drunk before we did the shows.
“It was never like the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle that people think.”
Mr Longmuir posed for a picture as part of the Evening News’ Christmas Appeal aimed at spreading the word about the life-saving devices to identify locations across the Lothians which can host a heart-start machine.
The festive social media drive which encourages people to draw a heart on a piece of paper and post a #shockinglyeasy selfie while pledging to spread the word has seen a host of well-known sporting figures, politicians and members of the public vowing to promote the cause in their droves.
Please post your pledge pictures at www.facebook.com/edinburghnews or tweet us at @edinburghpaper with the hashtag #shockinglyeasy.