A 15-year-old hospice patient received a beautiful gift on Friday, when Florence Welch and Rob Ackroyd of indie band Florence and the Machine turned up to perform a few of her favorite songs by her bedside. Nurse practitioner Christie Kremer, of Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, wrote on Facebook on Saturday that Karinya, who is being treated for cancer, “held long cherished tickets to see Florence and the Machine” with her best friend but was too ill to attend the concert. “All week through set back after set back she asked if she would be able to go,” wrote Kremer. “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.”
Instead, hospice staff reached out to Welch, who came to the patient’s room, “stuffed to the gills with teen friends,” gave her fan a big hug and sat on her bed, performing songs for 45 minutes — including Shake It Out and Dog Days Are Over, which were captured on video. At one point, Karinya’s friends sang back-up, to the evident delight of Welch.
“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,” Kremer wrote of the unforgettable event.