SUNG FROM THE HEART

West Country music star's poignant music film...

AN EXTRAORDINARY true story lies behind the latest release by a West Country music star.

Singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Brett Harvey for a music film based on the poignant true story of Bill Conner, a father who lost his daughter and cycled 1,400 miles to hear her heart beating again in the body of the man who received a transplant.

Underpinned by Sarah’s song Slow Decay, from her just-released fifth solo album, If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, the video was released with Conner’s blessings, ahead of Sarah’s April-May UK and Ireland tour.

In May 2017, five months after Conner’s daughter Abbey died at the age of 20, he decided to honour her short life by cycling from his home town of Madison, Wisconsin, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to visit Broward Health Medical Center, the hospital that had recovered Abbey’s organs for donation.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he met 21-year-old Loumonth Jack Jr, who’d been given 10 days to live before he was saved by Abbey’s heart.

Jack pulled out a stethoscope so that Conner could hear his daughter’s heartbeat for the first time since she died.

The family made a recording of Jack’s heart for Conner to listen to as he continued his journey to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation, promoting the efforts of www.donatelife.net/

The Slow Decay video seeks to further his efforts. Sarah now lives in Cornwall, as do Harvey and the five actors who appear in the film including Poldark actress Mary Woodvine.

Links for the donatelife.net, organdonation.nhs.uk and organdonor.gov websites appear onscreen after the film’s closing frame.

“It’s something I feel very strongly about, and I hope it’ll inspire anyone who’s not already registered as an organ donor to sign up,” said Sarah.

Slow Decay can be seen on Sarah’s YouTube channel.

Sarah’s West Country dates as part of her national tour are:

April 20, Solomon Browne Memorial Hall, Mousehole (01736 731040 or www.solomonbrownehall.co.uk)

April 21, The Beehive, Honiton (01404 384050 or www.beehivehoniton.co.uk)

April 26, Bridgwater Arts Centre (01278 422700 or www.bridgwaterartscentre.co.uk)

May 26, Silver Street Sessions at Cotleigh Brewery, Wiveliscomb (01984 623308 or www.silverstreetsessions.co.uk)

June 2, Praa Sands Community Centre (01392 581070 or www.praasandscommunitycentre.co.uk)

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.