Busker performs set outside hospital to comfort friend going through chemo

A musician played an emotional private gig in a hospital car park to help his friend get through his chemotherapy treatment.

Steve Vincent, 26, was diagnosed with lung cancer a month ago, making it the fourth time he has had the disease. He was receiving chemo at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford but was sadly unable to have visitors to keep him company due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But this didn’t stop his busker friend Michael MacDonald, 30, who decided to play an impromptu gig, belting out songs such as Stand By Me, not only for Steve but also his heroic healthcare team. Michael was meant to head down and play a couple of songs but he lifted everyone’s spirits so much that he stayed for nearly three hours.

Steve said: ‘Because of Covid-19, chemotherapy is not really big at the moment, they don’t want a lot of people in there, no one is allowed to come and see you.

‘I was really isolated, when I spoke to him that morning, I was really upset because I’m not allowed anyone with me, and I’m not allowed out of the room.

‘So, I was just in bed and I heard my name through the window, I looked out and he started singing for me. It’s mental and it was heartbreaking.

‘He’s just an absolute legend, it was aimed at me, but it wasn’t just for me, he cheered up all the NHS staff.’

Steve, who left the hospital on April 19, captured the performance during a Facebook Live session, which has got more than 16,000 views.

He is set to go back for his next round of treatment on May 4 and will be doing so to the sound of Michael’s music, as hospital staff were so impressed with his debut performance they invited him back.

Michael said: ‘Steve has been through this a lot – but it’s been the very first time that no one has been able to be there with him.

‘I thought that there was definitely something I could do to help.’

‘I got my equipment out of the car, I started playing, and he came to the window, but it wasn’t just him,’ he added.

‘There were a dozen nurses, and all the different patients came to the window, for a time like this where everyone is in isolation. It was wonderful.

‘I went there to play for my friend Steve, and I was able to cheer up many other people, so it was a wonderful thing to be able to do it.

‘I stayed there until 8pm. I initially went there to play for 20 minutes but when I started playing nurses and other patients asked me to stay because it was the NHS clap.’

The two friends met in 2012 while Michael was performing on a street in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Michael said: ‘I bumped into Steve and exchanged my number and details, so it was just a very random thing when I met him.

‘Ever since then our relationship has grown and got stronger. He’s come to lots of my different gigs. Steve is a very good friend of mine, he holds a very special place in my heart and always will be. He means the absolute world to me.”

Steve’s sister Michelle Millard, 30, added: ‘What Michael did for Steve was amazing.

‘It really touched my heart that he’s done something so wonderful to make Steve’s time a little easier.

‘The world is a better place with people like Michael in it and it’s nice to know that Steve is surrounded by such wonderful people at this really difficult time.’

Michael is now planning to return this evening to play for the hospital and take part in #ClapForOurCarers.