SickKids turns a real heartbeat into a song

Based on the heartbeat of a child with congenital heart disease, the hospital wants to remind families it is fighting for them.

A new video from SickKids, released to mark Heart Month, has turned the heartbeat of a child who lived with congenital heart disease into an anthem for all families who deal with it.

The video, called “Lily’s Raincoat,” was conceived by independent creative agency Juliet and developed in partnership with Tom Westin at Grayson Music Group. It centers on an original song created to the heartbeat of a child, Lily De Leon, who was a SickKids patient that lived with and eventually died from congenital heart disease.

“We had the idea of doing something with a child’s heartbeat who had congenital heart disease, and we wanted to make music out of it to help it beat on forever,” says Darya Klymenko, the CD at Juliet that worked on the project. “SickKids gave us Lily’s heartbeat and her story and told us her parents were open to the idea. Unfortunately, she died a month later and, suddenly, the project became a lot more emotional for all of us.”

With the help of Westin, the agency connected with Martina Sorbara of Canadian band Dragonette, who helped pen the lyrics to and performed the song.

“It’s such a rare gift to be included in something as special and meaningful as this tiny little piece and I’m so thankful to Lily’s parents for sharing her heart song and her story with me,” said Sorbara.

Once the song was finished, Klymenko said, “the parents loved it, but we wanted to bring it to life even more.” That was when the agency enlisted the help of American production studio Somesuch and director Tajana B-Williams to shoot a video with professional dancer Emma Portner.

Response to the video has been positive – including from Lily’s family, Klymenko said, and serves as “a reminder that the parents and kids at SickKids are fighting these kinds of battles every day,” says Klymenko.