Ed Sheeran granted a teenage fan her dying wish by singing to her gently until she slept. She passed away shortly afterwards.
Triona Priestley was only 15 years old and had suffered all her life with cystic fibrosis. She died on Tuesday in Dublin after listening to Ed sing to her his track Little Bird, over the phone. Her brother Colm, who was at her bedside, described the scene as a “beautiful last moment.”
Ed got to hear about Triona after a Twitter campaign started by his fans. Hashtag #SongforTri drawing attention to her dying wish trended over the weekend. It was such a success that Ed got in touch with her. As it turned out, it was only just in time. Colm Priestley expressed his gratitude to all those who partook in the campaign and to Ed Sheeran especially for granting his sister her final wish.
Colm said that his sister had drifted asleep as she lay listening to Ed’s voice and that it was very shortly afterwards she finally passed away. “So Ed Sheeran sang her to sleep.”
Sheeran paid his own last respects to the girl he serenaded to her final rest, posting on Twitter,”Rest in peace Triona,” adding, “so heartbreaking. X” He had previously tweeted to her that he would see her when he was over in Ireland in October, but when he found out the severity of the situation he rang direct.
One of Triona’s friends, Lucy Hanlon, wrote on her Facebook page about her last moments of life. “Our beautiful angel was taken from us,” she said. Lucy revealed how she had been approached by Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp via email and how they had arranged the call from Ed. “Triona left us listening to her idol surrounded by all the people who loved her.”
Triona’s mother, Bernie, commenting on the Twitter campaign said that the teen had been so proud of her friends for doing this for her. She gave a huge smile when she found out. Bernie explained how Triona had been in and out of hospitals her entire life. However, in the past two years her condition has begun to worsen.
She had started to miss a lot of school and spend more time getting treatment. Triona dealt with her frustrations and her regrets by writing poetry. “It was gut wrenching, heart-felt and deeply affecting poetry – wise beyond her years” said Orla Tinsley, a Cystic Fibrosis campaigner whom Triona admired and had shown it to. She had dreamed of being a writer.
In her final two weeks, Triona had been in intensive care and she had spent almost of all her days with Ed Sheeran on her headphones, listening to her favorite singer non-stop. Her very last Sheeran song was a live performance, just for her.
Triona’s friends and fellow pupils from Castleknock Community College have all been wearing the color purple since she died, which is the color representing cystic fibrosis awareness.
Ed Sheeran is renowned for being a somewhat unlikely pin-up, and yet one of the nicest people in pop. Far from being a rock and roll wild boy, he confesses to having drunk in a pub before he was 18, and that’s about the extent of his naughtiness. Sheeran is stockily built, resolutely ginger, acoustic and 100 per cent just himself. There is no styling or slick about him.
Granting Triona her last request and singing her to sleep is further proof of just what a decent and kind young man Ed Sheeran is.
By Kate Henderson