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Hospice worker’s cover of Adele hit goes viral

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 05:00:13-04

COLCHESTER, England – A UK hospice worker’s rendition of the Adele hit “Make You Feel My Love” is going viral online. But the performance may have struck its strongest chord with the audience who heard it in person.

The video, shot July 22, shows St. Helena Hospice nurses’ assistant Emma Young giving an impromptu performance to patients.

“I sing whenever I can. Every time I’m on shift, if it gets quiet then I try to sing a few songs on the piano,” said Young. “It really helps to make patients and families smile and creates such a nice atmosphere.”

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The hospice cares for those living with life-limiting illnesses, and Young said that music plays a significant role in their care.

Scientific research supports her approach. A meta-analysis of 400 studies in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science showed music has anti-anxiety properties, which can help people deal with chronic or terminal illness.

“It’s very uplifting and it really brightened up my afternoon. She plays beautifully and sings beautifully,” said St. Helena Hospice patient Sharon Jack.

“It made me feel so welcome and at home. My husband, daughter and friend were here as well and it really made me feel so settled,” Jack added.

Young’s simple video — it’s just her sitting at a piano, singing softly — had more than 58,000 views on Facebook by Monday afternoon. Comments from around the world praised Young for sharing her talent with patients.

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“I didn’t expect it at all and it hasn’t really sunk in yet that the video has gone viral,” she said. “Lots of my friends and family have been messaging me saying, ‘Don’t forget about us when you’re famous!’ It’s amazing how many people have viewed the video.”

When asked why she chose the Adele ballad — which was written by Bob Dylan — Young’s reasoning was simple: “I’m a huge fan of Adele and absolutely love her music. The words in the song are really powerful and are very meaningful to patients and families so I know it really touches people when I sing the song.”

For Young, who performs at open mics in her spare time, it was that response from patients and staff that means the most.

“The hospice really is a lovely organization to work for, and I feel privileged to work there and care for patients in one of the most important times of their lives,” she said.