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Isle of Wight Festival is dream come true for Daniel

For 21 year old Daniel, who has alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency, music has always been a huge part of his life. Now his dream of a career in the music industry is getting close to reality.  We hear from dad, Keith, and from Daniel himself.

Music has always been a passion for Daniel

Keith’s story

Daniel was born here on the Isle of Wight by emergency caesarean due to lack of movement in the womb and was rushed up to King College Hospital when he was only a few days old. He was diagnosed with Alpha 1 when he was just a few weeks old and ,although it’s good to get a diagnosis relatively quickly, for his mum, Elaine, and myself, I can honestly say it was terrifying. I remember feeling so scared and not knowing whether he was going to live or die.

Daniel as a baby

The care Daniel got from the staff at Kings  was second to none. And we were kept informed all along the way. When we returned home, we just wanted to balance his medical needs with keeping everything as normal as possible for him. We know that we are lucky – things have progressed well for Daniel and they could have been so much worse.

I know that children with liver disease can be restricted in the sports they can do but as it turned out,  Daniel was never into sports. From an early age, he just loved music and as he got older he was always focused on his guitar and writing and playing music.  He’s always been a very happy lad who just takes everything in his stride.

Daniel aged 12 with his grandad, Terry.

Daniel is currently studying a degree in Commercial Music at Platform One College. Obviously he’s at that age when  lots of his friends will be out drinking and partying and I think he misses that aspect of a young person’s social life but again, it doesn’t seem to faze him and for that we are so grateful.

Daniel’s story

I’ve grown up knowing that I have Alpha 1 but in reality, my day to day life is pretty normal. My liver condition only really restricts me from drinking and smoking, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m still able to carry on with what I love which is the main thing. My hospital check- ups are now at Southampton General rather than Kings and I no longer have to take any medication.

I’ve always loved music so once I get my degree I’m hoping to carry on to do a Masters. I really feel that this course  has given me  the tools and knowledge I need to succeed in the music industry. Personally my focus is more on producing music in a studio environment and doing my Masters will give me better opportunities to do this.

As well as studying, I’m in a band, Obscure Colours. We’re a four piece band based on the sounds of late 80s alternative rock and psychedelia. We have been going since 2019 although Covid caused things to be pushed back until recently. We have released our first single ‘Zarmina’ which is getting lots of hits on Spotify (listen here) Zarmina – Obscure Colours – YouTube and we are currently working on more material. Last year we got to play the Isle Of Wight Festival  again thanks to Platform One College. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I really hope to be playing there more often.

Daniel (left) and his band at the Isle of Wight Festival

My advice to other young people who have Alpha 1 would be keep healthy and listen to your doctors’ advice. You will come under peer pressure but don’t give into it. At the same time, don’t let your liver condition consume your life. Do what you love, be sensible and stick to it. And if you have any concerns there will always be people to help you out.

We’ll give the final word to Keith:

“Twenty years on and Daniel is my best mate. I couldn’t be prouder of him. We have always worried about the future but take each day, month, year as they come and will deal with anything that comes our way”.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • David & Ann Biltcliffe says:

    Well done everyone concerned with Daniel’s health and his success in his chosen field.
    We are all very happy for you Daniel. Keep up the good work, you have our admiration 🤗

  • Samantha says:

    Well done Daniel it’s so good to hear someone being positive and not letting anything get in there way of living the dream look forward to seeing you more in the bright future you have 😊 your mum and dad must be very proud of you 👏

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