A Blackpool musician who set off busking around Europe to raise money for charity has had to return home after collapsing with a heart condition.
Alastair Cameron, of Melrose Avenue, Layton, set off on the trip of a lifetime called Busk or Bust with friend Martyn Green two weeks ago.
The duo planned to busk their way around Europe over six months to raise money for UNICEF. But, after making their way from France, through Belgium and to Holland, Alastair collapsed and was admitted to hospital.
Alastair, 21, now recovering at home, spoke to The Gazette about the shocking moment he fell ill on a street in the Dutch capital.
He said: “We made it to Amsterdam and were playing music in the street when I started feeling a bit ill and collapsed.
“I got something to eat and drink, but collapsed again.
“It turned out I had a heart irregularity and had passed out. Cardiac problems run in my family but this was the first time it had happened to me.
“We were fortunate we were quite close to a hospital. It was particularly scary to be diagnosed in a foreign country, with people speaking in pigeon English trying to help you.”
Doctors found he was suffering from cardiovascular disease and the pair returned to the UK so he could be monitored.
He must wear a heart monitor for the next three weeks and is waiting to hear whether he can return to continue the trip.
Since returning to the Fylde coast, Alastair, who works at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon as a performer, has been prescribed strong painkillers and advised to rest completely for a month.
Martyn, said they were both “gutted” about returning home but said he was more concerned about his friend’s health.
Martyn, from Burnley, added: “We had just stopped to get a coffee and some food and we were going to go out and do some more busking when Ali collapsed. Luckily we were quite close to the hospital.
“Germany was the next stop and we were both excited about that but Ali’s health comes first and I just want him to get well soon.”
Martyn said if Alastair is given the all-clear by doctors they will carry on with the trip.
He said: “Everyone has been really supportive. Hopefully we’ll be able to go back. For those two weeks it worked quite well. If we go back we will call it Busk or Bust 1.5.”
In 2011, almost 160,000 UK people died from cardiovasular disease, which includes coronary heart disease, heart attacks, angina, heart failure and congenital heart defects.