Monday 24 April 2017

Disabled teenager finds his voice with romantic Valentine's Day song

Amyas Caeiro defied his condition by writing and performing a Valentine's Day song for his charity crush (Shooting Star Chase)
Amyas Caeiro defied his condition by writing and performing a Valentine's Day song for his charity crush (Shooting Star Chase)

A teenager with a life-limiting illness that affects his ability to speak has defied his condition by writing and performing a Valentine's Day song for his charity crush.

Amyas Caeiro, 16, wrote the song, Love, for fellow teenager Jordan Barfoot during a series of music therapy sessions at children's hospice charity Shooting Star Chase.

Amyas, who suffers from Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, which causes involuntary muscle movements and impairs the ability to speak, recorded the single with eight other tracks which have been turned into an album for his family and friends.

Lead therapist Sarah Hodkinson said 16-year-old Jordan "lit up" when she heard the song, and instantly seemed to wake from a deep sleep.

She said: "When we went down to find her, she was exhausted and wasn't responding to anyone that was trying to wake her.

"So we just played the song in the background and she opened her eyes and they just lit up.

"It was very obvious she was excited and it was clear that she was reacting to his voice."

Ms Hodkinson said Amyas's condition often makes it difficult for him to communicate his feelings.

She said: "He absolutely knows what he wants to say but it is very difficult for him.

"Amyas loves making music and putting his thoughts and feelings into lyrics, and it's amazing to see him perform such a beautiful song.

"He was chuffed to watch his video back and is excited to share his love for Jordan with the world."

Amyas's father Dexter Caeiro, 43, praised the therapy and said it had allowed his son to express himself in new ways.

He said: "He does find it frustrating when he can't express his thoughts. He's a lot happier since starting the music therapy and making songs together.

"It was especially visible in the making of these songs, particularly when he watched back the video. I think he was really happy with that.

"He's quite friendly, he makes friends very easily and if you meet him he's always smiling and he's happy to talk to you about anything."

Amyas underwent deep brain stimulation surgery at Kings College Hospital in May last year, where doctors implanted an abdominal stimulator which links to his brain and aims to reduce the severity of involuntary movements.

Press Association

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