Heartbreaking moment hospice helps 14-year-old boy sing to his dying mother for final time

Billy Devine, 14, from Newbold in Chesterfield, along with his friend Ellie Marie Scott, sang a rendition of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Shallow to his mother through the window of her room.

His mum, Jane Devine, 51, was cared for by the team at Ashgate Hospicecare for four weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2019.

Billy said: “I love to sing, and my mum always loved to hear me sing, so I thought it would be the perfect surprise to sing her favourite song whilst she was staying at Ashgate. I am incredibly grateful to the hospice for helping us organise this special moment, truly one none of us will ever forget.”

The duo sang in the garden because although Billy could visit his mum, his friend wasn’t allowed inside the hospice due to restrictions caused by COVID-19.

“It felt like the performance of a lifetime,” said Billy. “I’ll never forget the look on my mum’s face as she watched from the window of her room. Just remembering it now gives me goosebumps.”

Jane died at the hospice on 7th September 2020, just a few days after the poignant performance.

Billy said: “Mum was such a caring person, she spent much of her life looking after other people and spending time with her family. She was such a strong and positive person to be around, even after she was diagnosed, she was determined to face the cancer head-on.

“Unfortunately, no matter how hard Mum fought, this wasn’t going to be a battle she could win. That’s when she went to Ashgate Hospicecare and I can honestly say that the care she received was amazing, it is a very welcoming and comforting place, not just for Mum but for the whole family.”

Since his mum’s diagnosis, Billy and his family have raised £4,000 for Ashgate Hospicecare through a variety of fundraisers including Care for a Cuppa coffee mornings, bingo nights and head shaving.

Billy concludes: “It has been a real honour to raise money for Ashgate Hospicecare and to be able to repay some of the kindness they showed to our family when we needed it most.”

Billy and his family are backing Ashgate Hospicecare’s Winter Crisis Appeal which was launched to plug the £2.4 million gap in revenue, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

To support Ashgate Hospicecare’s Winter Crisis Appeal, go to www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/winter-crisis-appeal/ or phone 01246 567250.

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