Residential and Lifelong Learning student Ashleigh Fagan has one dream. She wants to sing a duet with mega-star and singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Ashleigh deals with multiple disabilities on a daily basis, as do many students in ChildVision. Sight loss, always. In her case, it’s due to optic nerve hypoplasia (where visual signals don’t reach her brain) and nystagmus (eye movements she can’t control). She also has autism.
Yet the diagnostic labels don’t come close to describing the young woman she’s become. Ashleigh now rises independently every morning, participates in managing her medication, organises her breakfast and gets herself off to her college course. She’s also one of our residential student reps at Gentili House, her home away from home. It’s miles from the 8-year-old who first came here ten years ago, anxious and locked away in her autism. ChildVision staff, many of whom are supporter-funded and have deep expertise in all kinds of visual impairments and developmental disorders, combined with specialised therapy, could help her grow and learn.
Music therapy held the key to a part of Ashleigh no one would have known was there otherwise. Now an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with over 229,000 followers on her “Help Ashleigh Meet Ed Sheeran” Facebook, music is Ashleigh’s go-to. She wants to further share her gift with the world by singing a duet with Ed Sheeran.
And if you have ever had the immense privilege of hearing Ashleigh sing, you will wonder: why on earth hasn’t Ed said yes? Because Ashleigh has the voice of an angel, and musical gifts that will leave you spellbound.
Just a dream? Listen to her music. Remember her story and know: anything is possible.