Scotland

Chart success for Edinburgh dementia patient and carer

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Media captionTheir version of Frank Sinatra's My Way will raise money for dementia charities.

When Margaret Mackie, 83, and Jamie Lee Morley, 31, sang Frank Sinatra's My Way at a Christmas party, they had no idea they would make it into the charts.

The video of Ms Mackie, who has dementia, performing the song with her carer went viral in December last year.

The pair, who both live in Edinburgh, have now recorded an official single to raise money for dementia charities.

Ahead of worldwide names Ed Sheeran and James Blunt, the single is climbing up the download charts.

They are trying to get the song to number one, with all of the proceeds going to Alzheimer's Society and Dementia UK.

"I have some favourite song words and I like to go into a quiet room and just sing," Ms Mackie explained.

Mr Morley has been caring for Ms Mackie since she became a resident at Northcare Suites in Edinburgh last October.

"The first time I heard Margaret singing, she was sat in the lounge area and I walked past, and I thought there was a radio on.

"So I walked back and I thought, 'Is that Margaret?' It was just beautiful," he explained.

After the viral video from the Christmas party, Mr Morley helped take her singing career a step further and they had My Way recorded at a studio in Edinburgh.

Having watched his grandfather live with Alzheimer's, he wanted to do his best to raise money and let Ms Mackie have some fun.

Mr Morley said it was incredible that Ms Mackie was note and pitch perfect while living with her condition.

He said that from day one at the care home she has always enjoyed singing and dancing.

A part-time singer himself, they often perform classics together like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.

"The story between Margaret and me, and the memories we've made for her family as well as everyone else at Northcare, that's what it's all about," Mr Morley said.

'A new lease of life'

Image copyright Jamie Lee Morley
Image caption Jamie Lee Morley said the emotional response to Margaret and him singing had made him "a blubbering mess"

Ms Mackie's daughter Mairi Hunter said she and her family were overwhelmed but delighted by the response.

Ms Hunter said she believed people had connected with her mum's story because so many families were affected by Alzheimer's and can relate to what her family was going through.

She said: "It has brought her back to life. The dementia was taking a hold of her and she was getting sad with it, but this has given her a new lease of life.

"It's quite remarkable how she can remember the lyrics. It just seems to come back to her.

"She wants everyone to be happy. People cry when they hear the song and she'll say 'No don't cry, I want you to be happy'".

For Ms Mackie, she said she would love to record another song and joked about an album.

"It's great seeing your face in all those newspapers.

"It's nice to have a busy life like that, every now and then, "she said.