A place you’d travel half the world for, but hope you’ll never visit
POET TONY’S LATEST WORK SALUTES CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
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.
Tony Walsh at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and, inset top, Phoebe Oldfield, Declan McEntee and Ella Chadwick
The audience at the hospital event