Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine gave sheer joy to a young fan in Austin, Texas on Friday, who had been unable to attend the singer’s show the night before.
15-year-old Karinya Chen, who is battling cancer, initially had plans to see Florence and the Machine in concert at the Austin 360 Amphitheater Thursday night with her best friend, but her health reportedly declined.
KVUE quotes Melinda Marble, one of the staffers at the hospice, as saying the teen asked staff at the hospice every day, “Do you think I’ll be able to go?” However, due to her illness, Karinya was unable to attend the show as she was too sick to leave her hospice room.
In a Facebook post, Christie Kramer, a nurse at Hospice Austin, told the story of how Welch’s performance at the hospice came about.
“We have a patient who held long cherished tickets to see Florence and The Machine last night with her BFF. All week through set back after set back she asked if she would be able to go.”
“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.”
— KVUE News (@KVUE) May 23, 2016
Kramer continued by writing that through a remarkable team effort on the part of Christopher House and Hospice Austin Staff, the hospice was able to contact Florence and ask her if there was any chance she could visit the teen.
“My patient’s mom was so nervous – will she really come? Is she here yet? She kept popping out of the room and checking.”
Florence came to the hospice indeed, and the teen’s mother burst into tears of joy and gave her a big hug. The 29-year-old Indie singer then performed for a room “stuffed to the gills with teen friends,” Kramer wrote.
However Kramer added that she sang for only one person.
As reported by People, the teen’s mom, Catherine Chen, was so moved by Florence’s performance, she took to Instagram with images and video footage of the performance, writing, “@florence of #Florence&TheMachine is such a beautiful and kind soul!! She brought so much joy to all of us today. What a Blessing!!”
— Consequence of Sound (@coslive) May 22, 2016
In a further photo post, Chen wrote, “@florence Of #florenceandthemachine Is not only an awesome artist but an even more amazing human being!! She made my sweet pea so happy today.”
According to Kramer’s post on Facebook, Florence’s performance was full of “so much joyous music and singing and tears” and young Karinya sang with her in harmony.
In two video clips, posted to YouTube by Hospice Austin, Welch and the young girl sing along and harmonize to “Shake It Out” and “Dog Days Are Over.”
Florence holds the girl’s hand while singing, accompanied by guitarist Rob Ackroyd. At one stage during “Shake It Out,” Welch can be heard saying to the teen, “Such a good harmony!”
Kramer said of the performance that there were “shrieks and squeals and so much joyous music and singing,” along with tears of “grief and joy and hope and love and utter devastation.”
“Somehow simple kindness made everything better.”
According to Marble, Florence also gave Karinya some t-shirts, a hoodie, a bag and a poster. Karinya also asked the singer to sign her arm in permanent marker, so it wouldn’t come off, which Florence did.
The two videos of Florence Welch’s moving performance at the hospice are included in this article – one at the very top, and the other below.