A Facebook video of a cancer patient and his nurse singing a beautiful duet on “O’ Holy Night” has gone viral, and it’s the holiday story you’ve been waiting for.
On Sunday, Brandi Mykle Leath posted a video of her dad, Penn Pennington, and his nurse, Alex Collazo, singing the popular holiday song at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Pennington began intensive inpatient chemotherapy treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his second round with cancer after facing low-grade follicular lymphoma in 2010.
In her Facebook post, Leath shared that her father has been a session musician in the Nashville music scene since 1980. He served as a guitar player at the famed Grand Ole Opry with Jack Greene for 23 years.
According to Today, Alex bonded with Pennington over their mutual love of music and brought her guitar in for him to play. Collazo and Pennington first sang a duet on Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” before their now-viral turn on “O’ Holy Night.”
“My dad’s nurse, Alex, heard that he was a guitar player so she brought her guitar for him to play during his chemotherapy treatments and sang O Holy Night with him,” Leath wrote. “Who knew she could also sing!!”
My dad’s nurse, Alex, heard that he was a guitar player so she brought her guitar for him to play during his chemotherapy treatments and sang O Holy Night with him. Who knew she could also sing!! Please share and let's get Alex some buzz for nurse of the year!! She's amazing! #alexatsarahcannonThere's more to the story, Penn Pennington is a Nashville original guitar player since 1980. He has played at all the old country bars downtown for over 30 years and played at the Grand Ole Opry with Jack Greene for 23 years. Right now he is receiving chemotherapy at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center. Sarah Cannon, best known as Minnie Pearl of the Grand Ole Opry was an American country comedian who appeared for more than 50 years and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.
Posted by Brandi Mykle Leath on Sunday, December 15, 2019
Pennington told Today that when he was admitted to the hospital because the cancer came back, he was having a hard time. “To find out the cancer is back … it’s not something that anybody really wants to hear about themselves,” he said.
Collazo, also a guitar player, worked hard to make Pennington feel comfortable and bring him little moments of joy, as she does for all her patients.
“I’ve made it a point in my career to bring happiness and laughter to my patients because they’re going through such a dark time in their lives,” Collazo said, adding:
They’re having a rough go and I really wanted to make a point for all my patients to help them forget that they’re in the hospital and what they’re going through for a few minutes, whether it’s joking around with them or telling them crazy childhood stories or I guess, now, playing music.