Alzheimer’s disease mostly affects seniors (but is known to also occur in other age brackets) and for the families of the patients, its impact can be really heart-breaking. Sadly for the McDermott family, they have to go through the everyday pain of not being remembered by the head of their household, Ted McDermott.
Ted McDermott, 80 years old, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease which made him forget many things and people including his own family. His memory and temper get worse each day but his son Simon thought about doing something wonderful for his father in the hopes of reliving his father’s memories even just for a short moment.
With much love and adoration for his father, Simon started to devise his genius plan by turning on some of Ted’s favorite songs and began to sing. Instantly, Ted started to sing along with his son, remembering the lyrics of the song. While they sang together, Simon was utterly moved and at the same time amazed by his dad’s singing prowess that wasn’t altered by his condition.
“Dad was a singer all his life – he was a Butlin’s Redcoat and then traveled around singing in clubs around the country. He worked in a factory after he got married and still did the bit of singing on side. His nickname is the ‘Songaminute Man’ – simply because of how many songs he knows. In the last few years, his memory has deteriorated a lot – often not recognizing family and with many aggressive episodes,” Simon said, recounting the glory days of his Dad’s singing career.
Ted’s aggressiveness and temper made it difficult for their family to deal with him emotionally and medically, but Simon would do everything to improve his father’s condition and help him feel alive again. His plan was to share as much of Ted’s singing to helpfully raise funds for the Alzheimer’s society where his father is a member.
The first video that Simon uploaded on the Internet quickly went viral. This video was shot when he was driving his father around Blackburn. Here, they happily sang “Quando, Quando, Quando” which warmed the hearts of many viewers. A lot of viewers admired Simon for his courage and apparent love for his father.
Some could even relate to the story being in the same situation as Simon’s. A reader named “Rach” said, “we lost my Nan to dementia but she would come back to us in songs. This bought back so many memories and I must say I had a few tears.”
Since the video went viral, Simon received thousands of messages from across the globe about how they were inspired by his father especially those people whose loved ones have dementia. According to Simon, “not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that driving dad to the supermarket and having a singalong would make such a huge difference not only to his own life, but to so many people around the world.”
Eventually, Simon’s carpool karaoke with his Dad made them instant Internet sensations. This simple act also made way to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s society and most importantly, brought back the beautiful memories of his father.
Michael Dent, Director of the Alzheimer’s society wrote on his website, “Alzheimer’s Society is extremely grateful for Simon’s fantastic fundraising achievements in honor of his father, Teddy Mac.” The carpool clips of Teddy and Simon continued to bring joy and inspiration to many people around the world while blessings also continued to pour on Simon and Teddy.
Teddy got a record deal and released his single, “You Make Me Feel So Young.” The father and son also won the “Pride of Britain Award” for sharing inspiring singing videos. Simon also published a book called “The Songaminute Man” which tells the life story of his father and how he helped him overcome the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and inspire the whole world through his songs.
Were you moved by this inspiring story? If so, feel free to share this article with your loved ones and watched this heart-warming video: