Belfast Telegraph

NI politician is reduced to tears as nurse sings Amazing Grace to his gran in hospital bed

Nellie recovering in hospital
Nellie recovering in hospital
A still from the video of Brittany singing to her
Grandson Jason Barr
Brittany McArthur
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

A man has spoken of his gratitude to a Co Londonderry nurse who was filmed singing Amazing Grace to his elderly grandmother in hospital.

Jason Barr, who was elected to Derry City and Strabane District Council earlier this month, shared the heart-warming video on social media on Saturday.

His 87-year-old grandmother Nellie Barr has been cared for at Altnagelvin Hospital for the past week after suffering a leg injury.

The footage shows young nurse Brittany McArthur - who was not aware she was being filmed - standing by Nellie's bedside singing Amazing Grace, one of her favourite songs.

Nellie can also be heard singing along.

Mr Barr said the moment was "absolutely incredible" and he was extremely grateful to the nurse for the compassion she showed his grandmother.

"When I first saw the video, I cried to be honest," he said.

"My granny and I would be very close.

" I would see her every two days and we have a special bond - so when I saw the footage I just broke down really.

"That young girl [Brittany] is only 21 years of age and for her to have such compassion and take a minute out of her day to do that for my granny is just unbelievable and incredible.

"Nurses get such a hard time and for her to do that I know would make my granny so happy."

Since the video was posted online, it has been shared more than 500 times and received 2,700 likes. Last night Brittany told the Belfast Telegraph she'd been stunned by the way her impromptu performance had gone viral.

"Oh my days! I'm just so shocked!" she giggled.

"I've had so many people contacting me, thanking me - it's just amazing!

"I didn't even know I was being recorded!"

The young Ballykelly woman is a student nurse at the University of Ulster's Magee campus in Londonderry

She's due to graduate this summer after completing her three year training course.

A trained singer, Brittany has reached grade 8 level with her voice.

Nellie's not the first patient she has sung with - and she won't be the last, Brittany said.

"I just love to sing. It's something I do regularly with patients.

"I want to help patients in any way I can.

"Nursing isn't just about clinical stuff - it's about caring, too."

Mr Barr added: "The young nurse deserves every bit of praise and recognition she's getting on social media.

"If I had one thing to say to her, it is thank you very much for raising my granny's spirits, it really means the world to us.

"And one quote does come to mind: 'Not all heroes wear capes'."

Amazing Grace, one of the world's best known hymns, became an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1960s; rather ironic, as it was written by a former slave trader, John Newton, in 1773.

At the time it was called 'Faith's Review and Expectation' and opened with the powerful lyric: "Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav'd a wretch like me!"

And the inspirational song drew on Anglican priest Newton's near-death experience from several decades earlier, when the slave ship he was on encountered a violent storm.

That trauma led to Newton to convert to Christianity.

American singer-songwriter Judy Collins had a worldwide hit with the hymn in 1970.

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