BGT’s Mark McMullan says his music is ‘big comfort’ to brother Declan

‘My music is his comfort’: BGT singer Mark McMullan reveals brother Declan is his inspiration because his Locked-In Syndrome means he cannot see, move or speak but can always HEAR

He left viewers in tears with his incredibly moving Britain’s Got Talent audition, which saw him dedicate his performance to his sick brother Declan.

And Mark McMullan spoke candidly with The Mirror on Wednesday about how his sibling’s battle against Locked-In Syndrome helps to inspire him on a daily basis. 

He detailed how his brother, prior to being struck down by the condition, was ‘so proud’ of him, as he admitted: ‘To see him lying there in hospital, blind, unable to move or speak, my music became a big comfort for him.’ 

Candid: Britain’s Got Talent contestant Mark McMullan revealed his music is a ‘big comfort’ to brother Declan as he talked about his sibling’s battle with Locked-In Syndrome on Wednesday

Mark used Les Misérables’ Bring Him Home, which he sang on BGT, as a way to help soothe his brother whilst in hospital, because he remembered how Declan had been moved to tears after hearing him sing it in a school production. 

Declan developed Locked-In Syndrome after suffering from a cardiac arrest, which was caused by a congenital condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. 

Discussing the difficult ordeal he and his family went through when they discovered that Declan was unwell, Mark explained he ‘noticed he was lying at an awkward angle. Like he had just fallen back on to the bed.’ 

Helping hand: Mark used Les Misérables’ Bring Him Home, which he sang on BGT, as a way to help soothe his brother whilst in hospital

Mark went on: ‘Me and my dad started CPR on him, but at this point he was dead. The paramedics took him straight into ITU at the Royal Victoria in Belfast.’ 

At the hospital, doctors estimated that Declan had been dead for about 20 to 30 minutes before he was found, but managed to come back around and has since learned to communicate with his family by blinking.

Earlier this month, Britain’s Got Talent viewers struggled to hide their tears, after auditionee Mark delivered an emotional tribute to his sick brother.

Brotherly love: The singer detailed how his brother was ‘so proud’ of him before contracting the condition, and admitted that after he got sick, Mark’s ‘music became a big comfort for him’

Condition: Declan developed Locked-In Syndrome after suffering from a cardiac arrest, which was caused by a congenital condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

At the hospital, doctors estimated that Declan had been dead for about 20 to 30 minutes before he was found, but managed to come back around and has since learned to communicate with his family by blinking

Before his audition, Mark explained that music had been a ‘great comfort’ to his brother Declan, who suffers from Locked-In Syndrome.

Upon taking to the stage, Mark explained: ‘Bring Him Home is a very, very personal song for me and my family. Nearly six years ago, my older brother took sick from a brain injury.

‘He’s here today, but he was left with a condition called Locked-In syndrome, which means he’s trapped inside his own body. The only thing he can really do is hear. My music became a big comfort for him.’

As he began to sing, much of the audience were moved to tears by Mark’s incredible vocals. 

WHAT IS LOCKED-IN SYNDROME?

Locked-in syndrome is a rare brain disorder that causes complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except the ones that control eye movements.

Sufferers are conscious but cannot speak or move. Their cognitive function is usually affected.

Locked-in syndrome is caused by damage to the brainstem that contains nerves that transmit information to other parts of the body.

Such damage usually occurs due to a lack of blood flow or bleeding following trauma.

Patients are unable to chew, swallow, speak or move, aside from their eyes, however, they can see and hear. 

Most sufferers are bedridden and dependent on their carers.

Treatment focuses on relieving the underlying disorder, such as bleeding, if possible.

Patients may need tubes to help them breathe.

Small tubes are also inserted in their stomachs for eating and drinking.

Sufferers can be taught to communicate via their eyes.

Source: National Organization for Rare Disorders 

Amanda Holden gushed: ‘You have the most gorgeous tone and quality to your voice, when you listen to the words and you know the background to your story it was beautifully done.’

But it was Simon’s words that proved the most poignant, as he said: ‘He’s lucky to have a brother like you

‘You brought meaning to that song, you managed to combine a real tenderness and then went into the strengths and I wouldn’t be surprised if off the back of this if you start getting calls from West End producers, I really like you.’ 

Tribute: Earlier this month, Britain’s Got Talent viewers struggled to hide their tears, after auditionee Mark delivered an emotional tribute to his sick brother

Meanwhile,  war hero Colin Thackery, 89, has landed a place in Britain’s Got Talent’s finale alongside comedian Kojo Anim on Sunday after warming the hearts of the nation during last night’s edition of the live shows.

The veteran left judges Simon Cowell, 59, Amanda Holden, 48, David Walliams, 47, and Alesha Dixon, 40, in awe and received the highest number of votes from the public as he delivered a passionate medley in honour of his late wife Joan three years after her death.

Comedian Simon’s Golden Buzzer act Kojo, 42, beat comedy magician John Archer for a position in the final as he sent the crowd wild with his hilarious monologue.

Triumph: War hero Colin Thackery, 89, has landed a place in Britain’s Got Talent ‘s finale on Sunday after warming the hearts of the nation during Wednesday’s edition of the live shows

Success: Comedian Simon’s Golden Buzzer act Kojo Anim, 42, beat comedy magician John Archer for a position in the final as he sent the crowd wild with his hilarious monologue

Dedicated: Colin served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years and went to war in Korea just two weeks after marrying Joan

Colin served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years and went to war in Korea just two weeks after marrying Joan.

After discovering he sailed through to the final, the former member of the armed forces, who lost some of his hearing after coming under attack, shared: ‘I have a vague idea of what’s happening!’

The finalist later told hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly: ‘It’s starting to sink in. My four grandchildren, my son and my daughter are in the audience’.

Kojo, who has vowed to establish himself as a solo artist after working with superstars such as Kevin Hart, jumped in delight when judges Simon, Amanda and Alesha sent him to the final.

‘I have to go with my golden buzzer who is actually amazing’, music mogul Simon declared.

Sweet: The Chelsea Pensioner previously told The Mirror his late wife would be ‘delighted’ to see him take to the stage. She passed away three years ago after more than 60 years of marriage (pictured together)

Pleased: After discovering he sailed through to the final, the former member of the armed forces, who lost some of his hearing after coming under attack, shared: ‘I have a vague idea of what’s happening!’

He’s in! Kojo, who has vowed to establish himself as a solo artist after working with superstars such as Kevin Hart, gasped in delight when judges Simon, Amanda and Alesha sent him to the final

Addressing Kojo and John, 58, TV presenter Amanda added: ‘I love old school comedy, but tonight, I’m going to go with Kojo’, with Alesha agreeing: ‘I love you both, but the act I want to see is Kojo’.

Although the Wild ‘N Out star was sent straight to the finals, a curious Dec asked comedian David for an answer on who he would have picked to go through, with the funnyman joking: ‘I wanted the girl from Holland to get through!’

A defiant Kojo told the crowd: ‘I just want to say to the woman in the audience who raised me, my aunt Sandra, I love you so much. I’m ready for the final, lets bring it on!

On Tuesday, magicians 4MG delighted the judges by featuring former contestants Stavros Flatley during their act as they sailed through to the grand finale alongside comedian Siobhan Phillips.

Despite their successful stint, viewers weren’t content to sit back and watch 4MG’s magic happen – taking to Twitter to try and expose the methods behind the tricks.

The group – made up of James, 19, Harry, 18, Theo and Josh, both 17 left the judges gobsmacked when they gave each judge a task and predicted the outcome during the live show.

David had to come up with a five-letter word, while Amanda and Alesha were tasked with selecting three worded cards from a pack at random.

Listen up! A defiant Kojo told the crowd: ‘I just want to say to the woman in the audience who raised me, my aunt Sandra, I love you so much. I’m ready for the final, lets bring it on!

Powerhouse: Singer Rob King displayed his vocal prowess as he passionately belted a track onstage, complete with drummers and a fire background

Impressive: Dance group KNE showed off their fancy footwork as they hit the stage in all black ensembles

Simon had to choose a numbered ball – and selected the number seven. This corresponded to a list written on one of the magician’s phones, which had 100 former BGT acts written out – number seven being Stavros Flatley.

It was then revealed that the cards Amanda and Alesha chose spelled out Stavros Flatley – and that the act from 2009 were waiting backstage too.

But fans of the show claimed the magicians had a number of different lists stored on their phones, with Stavros Flatley readily listed at whatever number Simon plucked from the bowl.

Following their performance, a member from 4MG gushed: ‘You have to follow your dreams, anything can happen! I fell to the floor in front of 3,000 people, it’s been amazing.’

Joining the acts are Flakefleet Primary School choir and Dave and Finn, who were sent through to the finals on Monday’s edition of the talent series.

Competitors are hoping to impress the judges and the voting public in order to win a massive £250,000 and a spot to take the stage at the Royal Variety Performance.

Comeback: On Tuesday, magicians 4MG delighted the Britain’s Got Talent judges by featuring former contestants Stavros Flatley during their act as they sailed through to the grand finale

Passionate: The group, made up of James, 19, Harry, 18, Theo and Josh, both 17, join comedian Siobhan Phillips in the final

Woof! Psychic dog act led by policeman Dave, 42, and his smart pup Finn wowed the crowds and won the first spot in the final on Monday

Britain’s Got Talent fans will witness eight finalists take to the stage each night during the live BGT semi-finals.

Following the acts performing the public will then be able to vote for their favourite.

Only two acts will be able to make it through each night to Sunday’s Britain’s Got Talent grand final on June 2.

High note: Flakefleet Primary School choir, led by headteacher Dave McPartlin, have also landed a spot in the final 

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