Teenage Glemsford musician Gabby Rivers pledges profits from debut EP to support NHS
An aspiring Glemsford musician has dedicated the release of her first extended music record to supporting NHS medical workers tackling the coronavirus outbreak, after receiving vital treatment for a rare bone condition.
Gabby Rivers was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a genetic disorder which causes muscle tissue to be replaced by bone.
Before her diagnosis, the 17-year-old’s symptoms had originally been attributed to a cyst, after she twice suffered a broken arm.
“Last year, I started getting more severe pain,” said Gabby, who has adopted a strict exercise routine to manage the condition.
“I always have to be wary of what I do,” she said. “If I don’t work out and strengthen my arm, I have to be careful.”
Expressing her appreciation for the support from medical staff, she said: “They have been really helpful; they still help me with controlling the pain.”
Gabby’s older sister, Maddison, also received vital surgery following a serious horse riding accident.
“We saw how good the NHS was, and everything they did,” said Gabby, of Pearsons Close. “They were just amazing.”
After the traumatic ordeal, witnessing her recovery was a great relief for the whole family.
“She’s still going back to have check ups, but she’s really pulled through,” said Gabby, whose grandmother, Sue, works at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, along with her mother, Natasha, who recently secured a role in quality improvements management.
Keen to support front-line medical staff helping to battle Covid-19, Gabby has decided to donate all profits from her debut EP, Headache, to the NHS.
“I wanted to show my appreciation to them,” said Gabby. “They’re all working so hard at the moment, putting themselves on the front line.”
Having been crowned the champion of BurySOUND – an annal music competition – with her band, GABBY, last year, the teenager won two sessions at a recording studio, where she produced her EP.
Reflecting on the five tracks, which are featured on the record, Gabby said: “I got a lot of inspiration from my early years, from my experience at high school and life in general.”
Since composing Stop Trying at the age of 13, Gabby said the process of writing material had proved therapeutic, while providing an outlet for her emotions.
Due to the powerful nature of song-writing, it is important that she feels comfortable about a personal experience before exploring the subject for her music.
“I try to get over a situation first,” said the former Stour Valley Community School student.
Since the age of 12, Gabby has been honing her skills as a musician while securing performances at a range of renowned music festivals, including Latitude and LeeStock in Long Melford.
After completing her course at a performing arts college in Norwich, Gabby plans to pursue a music career in the future.
To download Headache, go to iTunes or Google Play and search for the track.
More by this authorPriya Kingsley-Adam