AUSTIN, Texas -- Karinya Chen has faced more hardship in her 15 years of life than many will see in a lifetime. But on Thursday, in the middle of her fight against cancer, she received a visit from Florence and the Machine.
She still can’t believe it happened.
"It was a dream come true, it was the best day of my life, easily," Chen said. "Florence is this Amazonian of a woman but she's such a kind and lovely and beautiful soul, lovely person, there's no one like her."
Chen's battle with cancer started five years ago. When she was 10 years old, she kept falling down. At that point an MRI showed tumors on her spine.
Two weeks ago, she moved into the Christopher House in East Austin.
Then on Thursday, Florence Welch and guitarist Rob Ackroyd came into Chen’s room and the feelings in the room were almost beyond words. She said her favorite part was Welch singing “Shake it Out” because of what the song means to her.
"It means shake it out. It's always darkness before the dawn," Chen said, crying.
Family and friends by her side were ecstatic she was able to enjoy the miracle. Her 9-year-old brother Evan was overwhelmed seeing his big sister so happy during the performance, even getting emotional about it.
"Like she said, she believes in miracles, so," Evan started to say but couldn't finish.
Welch and Ackroyd sang with Chen for 45 minutes, sometimes with Welch holding Chen’s hand. For the 15-year-old girl, having Welch there was a dream come true, and Ackroyd being there was a welcome sight.
"I have a thing for British boys with accents, especially tall. He was very well cut and polished," Chen said with a smile.
She said she is grateful for her family, friends and the Hospice Austin staff who asked Welch to visit.
"I want to thank Kirby Hall School, my family, Dell Children's Hospital…Hospice Christopher House, Ms. Melinda, my mom, my dad, and God. Because I believe in miracles and this was a miracle sent from Heaven and she was an angel," Chen said.
Signed albums are now posted on the wall of Chen’s hospice room, and there are signatures on her arms, evidence of the miracle that one superstar musician gave her, and the incredibly strong spirit that Chen showed to Welch and to the world.