Ed Sheeran has revealed he visited his terminally ill grandmother’s bedside almost daily during her final months.
The singer, 29, revealed he is still pals with many of the National Health Service staff at Aldeburgh Hospital in Suffolk, who took such good care of his Irish grandmother Anne until her death.
Ed’s candid insight featured in an essay penned for the book Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, which features many stars reflecting on their own experiences with the NHS.
Sad: Ed Sheeran, 29, has revealed he visited his terminally ill grandmother’s bedside almost daily during her final months
Telling how he is still haunted by his grandmother’s death, Ed said: ‘I was lucky enough not to be on tour during my grandmother’s final months, and because I lived locally I was able to visit her every few days.
‘The care she received was incredible; the people who worked there so lovely, compassionate, funny and caring.
‘When she passed away I wrote a song called Supermarket Flowers about the situation. The verse lyrics are about packing up her room at that hospital.
‘Me and my family became very close to the nurses who worked there and my mum is still in touch with them now. I see them from time to time when I’m in the area and it’s like meeting old friends.’
Sad: The singer, 29, revealed he is still pals with many of the NHS staff at Aldeburgh Hospital in Suffolk who took such good care of his Irish grandmother Anne (pictured) until her death
Ed also played his grandmother a song inspired by her love for his doctor grandfather William before she died, titled Nanny Mulligan in reference to their Irish background.
He then went onto pay tribute to her in the song Supermarket Flowers, which he performed at the 2018 BRIT Awards after it featured on his album ÷.
Despite being worth an estimated £160 million, Ed said he is grateful for the NHS and has made use of it several times in the past few years.
Emotional: Ed paid tribute to his grandmother in the song Supermarket Flowers, which he performed at the 2018 BRIT Awards after it featured on his album ÷
He added: ‘I was born in Halifax in an NHS hospital, was in and out of the GP surgery every few weeks with ear infections from my first few months, had laser treatment for a port wine stain on my eye at Leeds General Infirmary over several years, had stitches on various parts of my body from always being a curious kid all throughout my childhood, had my eardrum replaced when I was 11 in Ipswich Hospital’s children’s ward and got both arms put in casts in Ipswich A&E when I fell off my bicycle mid-tour in 2017.
‘And I haven’t even touched on dental and eye care!
‘The NHS really has been there through every single up and down of my life so far, and every visit – even though I was either in pain or terrified – wasn’t ever as bad as I was thinking it was going to be, and that was down to how professional and lovely the doctors, nurses and support staff were.’
Important: Despite being worth an estimated £160 million, Ed said he is grateful for the NHS and has made use of it several times in the past few years
He went onto add: ‘Places like Aldeburgh Hospital just don’t exist in large parts of the world and, in many, places like this are private and cost a lot of money, or you have to have health insurance to be able to access them.
‘The NHS is unique. It can be taken for granted, or just accepted as the norm, but it’s not the norm.
‘Without sounding cheesy, it’s the backbone of our country and idolised by me and millions more.
‘This time of crisis has reminded so many how important it is to us, and to the country, and I hope, going forward, it will get the financial support and respect it deserves.
‘It was created for a reason – to provide consistently excellent, reliable healthcare to all, regardless of background or means – and we mustn’t ever lose it.
‘Thank you to everyone who works for the NHS. Thank you for putting other people’s pain and suffering above your own, and thanks for all you’ve done for me and my family.’
Ed joined a slew of stars who have shared their own experiences with the NHS in a book compiled by former doctor Adam Kay.
Touching: Ed’s candid insight featured in an essay penned for the book Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, which features many stars reflecting on their own NHS experiences