WATCH: Florence + the Machine gives private concert for sick teen fan
MANILA, Philippines – Florence + the Machine was in Austin, Texas, USA for a concert, but 15-year-old Karinya Chen was too sick to attend. However, kind people wanted to make a private show happen for the young fan, and indeed, lead singer Florence Welch and guitarist Robert Ackroyd dropped by.
The room, filled with Karinya's loved ones and classmates from Kirby Hall School, sang along to a few tunes care of Florence and Robert such as "Dog Days Are Over," "Kiss with a Fist," and "Shake It Off."
At one point, Karinya even duets with Florence, providing the harmony. "Such a good harmony," Florence remarks.
Karinya is staying at Hospice Austin's Christopher House. Nurse practitioner Christie Kremer said in a Facebook post on the hospice's page that the young fan already had tickets to see the show the night before with her best friend.
According to Today, Karinya is battling paraganglioma, "a type of cancer that forms tumors deep within nervous system cells." She has been receiving care at the Hospice Austin since February and has been battling the cancer for five years, which has spread to other parts of her body.
"All week through set back after set back she asked if she would be able to go," Christie recounted. "We tried to entertain the idea and it felt so scary and overwhelming for the medical staff and her mother that finally I said no, and my heart broke again."
She narrated the joyous turn of events, "Through a remarkable team effort on the part of Christopher House and Hospice Austin Staff, we were able to make contact with Florence."
Christie continued: "Florence walked around the corner to the patient's room – stuffed to the gills with teen friends – and there were shrieks and squeals and so much joyous music and singing and tears and tears and tears of grief and joy and hope and love and utter devastation and somehow simple kindness made everything better"
Another nurse, Lev Baesh, also said in a Facebook post, "The room was full; full of joy and warmth and love and life and singing.
"The best part was joining my colleagues to get a chance to weep in the presence of this gift. Weeping, all too often, takes a back seat to the act of caregiving we offer."
According to Today, Karinya hasn't seen the band since 2011. Her mom, Catherine Shiang Chen, also told the news outfit, "I was very grateful that they could be so generous and kind to take time out and spend it with my daughter. I was floored, thankful and very impressed by their act of benevolence."
Indeed, the visit lifted Karinya's spirits up. "Our patient went from not feeling well and being very lethargic to sitting up, talking, laughing, knitting – a different person entirely. Florence came and it was really, really magical. She was 100 percent there," Melinda Marble, the hospice's communications coordinator, told Today.
The news outfit also says that she still dreams of taking up literature and biology at the University of Texas at Austin in spite of her sickness.
Catherine and Karinya also posted some clips and photos from the little Florence + the Machine show.
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