IF Ladybank man Alan Linton wasn’t a Bee Gees fan before, he certainly is now - for had it not been for the group’s 70s hit ‘Stayin’ Alive’ he might not be here today.
Luckily for the 39-year-old, the British Heart Foundation TV advert featuring the tune had stuck in the minds of his golfing companions when he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing a round at Charleton Golf Course near Colinsburgh last month.
They worked together for more than half an hour to get him breathing again, following the advice of footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, who’s featured in the advert telling people to forget the kiss of life and use hands-only chest compressions in time to ‘Stayin’ Alive’.
And on Tuesday the father-of-two was well enough to say a personal ‘thank you’ not only to his chums, but also to the paramedics and emergency call handler who played such a vital role in saving his life.
The drama unfolded on February 5 when Alan suddenly became dizzy and fell backwards at the sixth hole.
His friends thought he was just ‘mucking about’ at first but soon realised this was no prank.
During Tuesday’s emotional reunion at Leven ambulance station, they re-lived the moment they swung into action when they were played a recording of a 999 call made by one of the friends, Brian Henderson, in which he tells emergency call handler Karen Panton: ‘We’re doing the Stayin’ Alive. We’ve got him breathing again.’
Karen is heard instructing the men to tip Alan’s head back to open his airways and begin chest compressions.
While Brian held the phone, another friend, Paul Pinkney began resuscitation and Alan’s brother-in-law Michael kept his airway open.
Golfer Peter Meldrum, who was playing behind Alan’s group, took over the compressions when Paul began to tire.
They continued for over 30 minutes before ambulance personnel used a defibrillator and Alan was flown by helicopter to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, where he stayed for three weeks.
Reflecting on the drama, Alan said: “The guys were using the beat from the Bee Gees song, ‘Stayin’ Alive’ so it was a major contribution to why I’m here today.
“When I came from hospital and for some reason my wee girl was singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’.
“I think she must have heard it on the telly, and it just brought it home for me.”
“I’m overwhelmed, not just by my friends, but also the stranger who was playing behind us and the paramedic team – it was a team effort.
“I’ll feel indebted to them for a long time.”
Paramedic Alan McIntyre said: “We promote the chain of survival, which is calling early to get help and CPR to buy time.
“We’ve been doing that for many years, but Vinnie Jones, with his primetime advert, really gets the message across.
“The sterling work these guys did before we got there made all the difference.”