When singer Shelly Poole’s husband suffered an enormous brain haemorrhage, she was told to expect the worst. But Ally, guitarist in rock band Texas, confounded all the experts
I woke up around 8.30 on the morning of Tuesday 8 September 2009 to the most disturbing noise I’d ever heard, like the emptying of a drain. Ally McErlaine, lead guitarist with Texas] was always up before me. I called out to him, but he didn’t answer. I called again – nothing. A strange dread came over me. I dashed into the front room and found him lying on the sofa the way he often did, but his eyes had rolled back into his head, his tongue was hanging out, and his skin had turned a horrible grey.
Terrified, I shouted at him, punched him, and prised his eyes open with my trembling hands – but he just wasn’t there. The drain-like noise had stopped: it had been the sound of him trying to breathe. There was a deathly silence instead.
I suddenly couldn’t remember the emergency number. What was it? 999! The wonderful man on the other end of the line asked me to move Ally so that he was lying flat. But he was a dead weight; his whole body had shut down. I couldn’t get my fingers in his mouth to clear his airways, because his head was propped up against the arm of the sofa. All I could think to do was punch his chest. I remember screaming down the phone, ‘He’s not breathing!’
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Picture By David Poole
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