‘I want my song to give hope to other heart warriors and families’

A local singer with a congenital heart disease has released her first single to give ‘hope to other heart warriors and heart families’.

Hollie Rose.
Hollie Rose.

Hollie Rose, who was born with a condition which effectively means she only has half a working heart, spent lockdown writing a song and creating a video about her life.

The 20-year-old, from the Ardmore area of the Waterside, released ‘All Those Yesterdays’ last week and so far the video has been viewed over 50,000 times.

Hollie Rose was diagnosed with double inlet left ventricle when she was just five days old.

“I wasn’t diagnosed at birth, but my mum had to rush me back to hospital when I became unwell.”

She was put on life support and transferred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, however doctors did not think she would survive.

”At ten days old, I had the first surgery which saved my life. Since then I have had three open heart surgeries. The last one was when I was six-years-old,” she explained.

“My family have always known the surgeries were palliative and that eventually I will need a heart transplant if I want to live into later adulthood.”

Hollie Rose began writing songs when she was very young and said that music was a form of therapy for her growing up, particularly when she was in hospital.

“Music has always been my therapy since I was young. I have always been into it and used it in hospital. I got into song writing when I was around 12 and I started learning guitar and piano.”
Writing ‘All Those Yesterdays’ and editing the video, which features pictures and clips of Hollie Rose throughout her life, was an emotional experience for her.

“Turning 20 was a real milestone, because it was an age my parents were told I would never reach. That was my inspiration to tell my story through song.

“This song has absolutely broke me. I was shielding during lockdown and I had a lot of time, far too much time, to dwell on the past and the future. That really inspired me to make the song and video.”

Hollie Rose is a self-taught musician and later studied music at the North West Regional College.

She is currently doing a course in childcare and hopes to eventually work as a music therapist for children in hospital, as she knows the huge impact such a service would have on children when they are inpatients.

“At the minute I am really grateful to be so healthy and well. I know deep down it is not going to last forever and I have had to accept that over the past year, which has been difficult.

“I have begun to focus on today and whatever is going on right now because you can’t plan with a condition like mine.”

She hopes that other children with heart conditions and their families will draw strength from her song. “My main hope for this song is to inspire heart warriors and heart families. I have met so many incredible heart warriors, some that we have lost along the way, and I am so grateful to have been part of many of their journeys.

“I was really close with one heart warrior Aimee Brady, who sadly passed away in September last year.

“She really inspired me and taught me a lot about life and smiling during difficult times.

“She was a true friend and I knew her for most of her life. Aimee is really behind me doing this as she meant so much to me.”

Hollie Rose received support from her mum Claire, who she calls her ‘rock’, and boyfriend Shane throughout the songwriting and video editing process for the song. “This was my lockdown project and it gave me something to focus on. My mum must have watched the video thousands of times, she was sick looking at it!” she laughed.

While she wanted a music career to take off when she was younger, Hollie Rose said it is now more important for her to share her story and to bring hope to other families.

‘All Those Yesterdays’ is available to download now via all major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

To view the video visit: Hollie Rose Music Facebook page on www.facebook.com/HollieRoseMusic/