IT was a close brush with death.
But thanks to the staff at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin, rocker Brush Shiels plays on.
The 67-year-old showed his gratitude yesterday when he presented the hospital with an oil portrait by his friend, the broadcaster Joe Duffy.
"I've played the Whiskey a Go Go, The Fillmore West in San Francisco, along with a million other gigs around the world.
"But I learnt more from the two weeks I spent getting better here than in all of those places," said Shiels at a ceremony of appreciation yesterday.
The former Skid Row member was rushed to Connolly Hospital last October after collapsing at home from heart failure caused by a viral infection.
"The doctors told me I was at death's door.
"It felt like a demonic possession where I was being attacked inside," remembered Shiels.
But admitted to the coronary care department, he was brought back to life under the care of Professor Jim O'Neill.
"Brush is a real live-wire. He was a breath of fresh air who raised everybody's spirits," Prof O'Neill said.
"Not worried about himself, he helped out the other patients in the unit as well."
The consultant cardiologist and the staff at the hospital's coronary care unit were among those present yesterday, when Shiels, now fully recovered, made his presentation.
Prints of the likeness, along with proceeds from his new album 'A Brush With Life', which draws on his near-death experience, will be sold to raise funds for Blanchardstown Hospital Society, a charity which pays for equipment and services for patients.