Amateur Poet Frankie Carvalho had already lost good friend Vivienne Gordon, to Covid-19, when she received the devastating news that her sister-in-law Sam Jack, who lives in Willerby, near Hull, had tested positive for the virus.
It was the call Frankie has been dreading. Her brother Glen has a pre-existing lung condition, and inevitably, he too tested positive for the infection. Glen spent almost six weeks on Castle Hill Hospital’s infectious diseases unit, where he was in receipt of high dependency care.
He had suffered a pulmonary aneurysm as a result of Covid-19 and had blood clots in his lungs. Breathing was extremely difficult for him, his need for oxygen intensified, he lost 2 stone in weight, and just walking to the bathroom was almost impossible.
Having watched her friend Vivienne's funeral via live video stream, and now having come close to losing her brother too, Frankie, who usually works in administration, turned to poetry to help her process and express what was happening.
The poem eventually developed into a song, and Frankie enlisted the help of some big names in the music industry.
One of the first to get involved was James Hawkins, who co-produced the single ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the late Captain Sir Tom Moore and Michael Ball. Frankie signed up to a course he was running, and James spotted real potential in the words she'd written while in the depths of despair.
Later Frankie worked with Boy George’s vocal coach, Christopher David Mitchell and his partner Oliver Delbos from The Recording Artist Programme to move her emerging project forward and create something really special.
Advertisements for a singer to be able to turn Frankie’s poem, ‘Dancing & Free’ into a single, attracted over 300 applications, and the multi-talented West End performer and star of ‘We Will Rock You’, Amy di Bartolomeo, was chosen to record the song.
To be able to express my love for my brother Glen, Sam and Vivienne, and to share our story in this way is something I hope will be an inspiration to others.
The single Dancing & Free is released today and proceeds from the single will be donated Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s official charity, WISHH*, as a gesture of thanks for the care shown to Glen by Castle Hill staff during his time in hospital.