Charles Michael Duke is a born entertainer who is refusing to let the fact that he has cystic fibrosis prevent him from performing.
Having been forced to spend much of the last year in hospital, Charles, from Hordle, in Dorset, decided to turn the experience into a positive and has just released a comedy video performing his self-penned song ‘Life in a hospital’.
The video notched up 4,000 views in the first 48 hours online – testament to the following Charles has built up with his previous video ‘I’ve Got Cystic Fibrosis’ which itself has been viewed on YouTube more than 20,000 times.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition – only half live to celebrate their 40th birthday. It causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation of the lungs.
Charles has had a catalogue of problems related to his condition, including a collapsed lung which resulted in him spending Christmas in hospital. He is currently on the transplant list waiting for a double lung transplant.
Charles said “Most people dread going to hospital, but when you spend as much time as I do in there, you really do start to find good things about the experience. I see hard working, committed and skilled doctors and nurses and I wanted to do something positive for the NHS, because let’s be honest, I basically owe my life to them and their ongoing care.”
“We filmed the video for ‘Life in a Hospital’ in a day. I spoke to my CF team and Dr Daniels from Wessex Adult CF Unit was amazing. He got permission from high up in the hospital for me to do it and even got places that are closed on weekends unlocked for me, so that I could guarantee the use of an empty waiting room, rather than taking pot luck!
“I contacted my friends at Glad Rag Production Company, who were more than willing to come and play the part of nurses for me. We shot the whole thing in about five hours. It was exhausting but so much fun!”
Charles also hopes that his video will highlight the topic of organ donation. On his recent 20th birthday in May, he posted this impassioned message on his Facebook page: “To be honest what I’d really like (for my birthday) is some new lungs – but the thing is – it’s not like they’re available on Amazon, which is annoying because I’ve got ‘Amazon Prime’ and get free next day delivery. But I’m not the only person who is waiting for organs this year. In fact in the UK alone there are over 10,000 people who need some form of organ, and one in three of these people will die waiting for it.
“Now that is crazy! We’ve got 60 million people in the UK, and one organ donor can save up to eight lives! Only 33% of the UK population have signed the organ donor register, but over 90% would accept one?!”
The song can be downloaded at https://soundcloud.com/charlesmichaelduke/life-in-a-hospital