Cancer patient, 82, releases coronavirus charity single

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Rex Martey

A long term patient of Guy’s Cancer has released a charity single to support the work of NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Afrobeats musician Rex Martey, 82, from Sydenham, south London, has today released his single ‘Thank You’, with all proceeds from the sales going to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

The lyrics to ‘Thank You’ find Rex writing as a patient suffering from coronavirus, who is looked after by a range of different people in hospital, from doctors and nurses, through to housekeeping and catering staff.

Rex, who has prostate cancer, is no stranger to the care of staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’, having been a patient since 1983. His condition is currently stable and he has dialysis three times a week as a patient of Guy’s renal and urology services.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that without Guy’s and St Thomas’, I would not be here today,” said Rex. “I am so grateful to all of the staff who have looked after me over the years.”

Rex worked on the single at home with his wife, who contributed backing vocals. The pair recorded parts of the song onto Rex’s phone, before sending to his engineer Stefan Inglis who pieced the track together.

“I have been lucky enough to not catch coronavirus, but know how hard the staff have worked to make sure that vulnerable dialysis patients stay safe.

“This song is my way of repaying some of the gratitude I feel towards those who have cared for me. That’s everyone, from the doctors to the cleaners. I can’t say thank you to everyone in person, so I will say it in song.”

Rex made headlines in 2019 after securing his first record deal at 81 years old, having performed in pubs and clubs in London for more than 60 years. His lifelong dream came true last August, with the release of his debut album African Touring Holiday.

The album included the single ‘My Louisa’, dedicated to Louisa Fleure, lead urology clinical nurse specialist at Guy’s. All proceeds from the sale of ‘My Louisa’ on Bandcamp also go to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity raises money to make the Trust’s life-saving care go above and beyond; from big things to small touches that help patients and their families feel looked after. The charity has funded a series of well-being initiatives to ensure that staff are cared for and supported throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Thank You’ by Rex Martey is available on Spotify.

Last updated: March 2022

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