Simon Cowell teared up during a Britain’s Got Talent audition, after a contestant dedicated an emotional performance to their brother, who suffers from Locked-In Syndrome.
Mark McMullen took to the stage for a moving rendition of Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables – which he belted out for brother Declan, who has been left unable to move over the condition.
When asked why he picked that particular track, the 23-year-old told the judges: ‘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.’
Simon looked visibly emotional during his performance, while many audience members broke down in tears.
‘Declan is lucky to have a brother like you,’ he told the hopeful after his audition.
You bought meaning to that song which I hadn’t thought about before.’
Mark recently opened up about Declan’s condition in a chat with Metro.co.uk, comparing it to being ‘buried alive’.
Locked-in Syndrome is a rare motor disability that occurs mostly when a part of the brainstem is damaged, and ultimately causes paralysis in all voluntary movement.
‘The only way I can describe it is it’s like being buried alive,’ the singer told us. ‘He can’t see, he can’t speak he can’t eat, he can’t drink, he can’t move any part of his body.
‘The only parts that he can move are his eyelids and some slight facial movements and that’s it.’
Discussing what made him take part in the ITV show, he explained it was for Declan.
‘When the opportunity came up for me to audition for Britain’s Got Talent, I just kind of thought as much as I had other things going on in my life, and trying to focus on my career and stuff, everything always comes back to music,’ he continued.
‘I kind of told myself if Declan could do it, he would do it.’