A place you’d travel half the world for, but hope you’ll never visit

POET TONY’S LAT­EST WORK SALUTES CHIL­DREN’S HOS­PI­TAL

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LOTTE DOB­SON char­lotte.dob­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @dob­sonMEN

THE poet who mov­ingly cap­tured the spirit of Manch­ester in the wake of the 2017 ter­ror at­tack has penned a new trib­ute to an­other place close to his heart.

Tony Walsh per­forms the poem, called Ev­ery Child Counts, in a new film cel­e­brat­ing 10 years of the Royal Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

The 10-minute film took sev­eral months to pro­duce and pre­miered at the hos­pi­tal – the largest of its kind in the UK.

It fea­tures cameos by staff, par­ents and pa­tients dubbed the ‘an­gels of the ward.’

Tony, who him­self over­came se­ri­ous child­hood ill­ness, said: “It was a great hon­our to write and per­form a piece for Royal Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and it felt like one of the most im­por­tant things I’ve ever done.

“Over the months I met with fam­i­lies and staff and there were so many mov­ing sto­ries to in­spire me as well as the huge sense of pride in the life­sav­ing work at the hos­pi­tal.”

The film fea­tures young pa­tients Ella and De­clan who both owe their life to the hos­pi­tal.

Ella was just eight weeks old when she first be­came ill and needed a kid­ney trans­plant.

The hos­pi­tal has been her sec­ond home ever since.

De­clan, 17, has also been treated since he was a baby when he needed life-sav­ing surgery for a twisted in­tes­tine and has been in and out of hos­pi­tal all of his life.

Sarah Nai­smith, di­rec­tor of Royal Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Charity, said: “When we looked back over our ten years it made us ap­pre­ci­ate more than ever the vi­tal work and the num­ber of lives the hos­pi­tal has touched.

“Tony, with his tal­ent and per­sonal con­nec­tion, felt like the per­fect part­ner to tell our story to the world.

“An early preview at our Car­ols in the City evening at Manch­ester Cathe­dral last month was met with cheers, tears and ap­plause.”

Re­mind­ing view­ers of the se­ri­ous mes­sage be­hind the poem, Tony leaves his au­di­ence with the words ‘ev­ery child counts’ – urg­ing the au­di­ence to make a do­na­tion to the hos­pi­tal’s charity.

VIN­CENT COLE

Tony Walsh at Royal Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and, in­set top, Phoebe Old­field, De­clan McEn­tee and Ella Chad­wick

The au­di­ence at the hos­pi­tal event

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