Healthcare workers are supposed to take care of patients and make them as comfortable as possible. But there’s nothing in their contracts saying they have to sing to their patients. Maybe there should be.
Beth Porch is a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. She specifically takes care of young children every day. And, occasionally, she will pull out her ukulele and serenade those children to brighten their days.
Says Beth: “As part of my degree I did a bit of research around music therapy for pain relief, but even as a distraction technique it’s good. I think music speaks to everyone’s soul. When kids and families are going through the toughest time, it just brings a bit of normality and joy.”
Little 3-year-old Artie Vickerage has been at the hospital for a few months after his mom, Gemma, discovered a lump in his stomach. He was quickly diagnosed with a rare cancer and he has had some pretty rough treatment for it. And doctors told Gemma they would need to push Artie to the brink of death before they would be able to cure him. There has been hardly any bright spots for the little boy while in the hospital.
That is, until Beth showed up in his room one night with her ukulele. She sang the very uplifting tune, “It’s All About You,” by McFly. Artie was just amazed by her singing to him, and Gemma captured Beth’s performance on video and posted it to Twitter.
How utterly amazing is this lady. Her name is Beth, & she is a nurse on my sons cancer ward at @GreatOrmondSt -she goes above and beyond the duties of a nurse & puts a smile on all the kids faces x such a special person ❤️🧡💛💚💙 #nhs #amazingnurses @TomFletcher @DougiePoynter pic.twitter.com/SgAHM1v8Lk— Gemma (@mamalovesuk) July 13, 2019
Beth later said that she was inspired bring in her instrument and sing to patients by another child just like Artie. After that, lots of parents started requesting she sing to their children. She would learn their favorite songs and sing them to them. And, of course, she quickly earned the title of “the singing nurse.”
Soon after Gemma posted the video of Beth singing to her son, it went viral. Lots and lots of people watched the video and made extremely nice comments about it. But, perhaps, none were more kind and surprising than the one written by the person who actually sang the song for McFly, Tom Fletcher.
Tom wrote: “No, you’re crying… Beth, you are an absolute hero with the voice of an angel. Gemma, I hope your little one is doing ok. Wishing you all the very best. It looks like you’re in good hands there!”
Beth was floored, saying: “The response to the video has been crazy. It doesn’t feel real. I didn’t expect to go viral. It’s been strange to think that so many people have heard me sing, including big celebrities. Tom Fletcher is a musical hero of mine, so for him to say I have the voice of an angel has been very overwhelming.”
One can only hope that her singing helps many other children through their health struggles, and that more people in the healthcare industry can be just like Beth.