Teen who endured 70 throat operations up for John Lennon songwriting award

Brodie Brown was born unable to breathe naturally but against the odds and with a guitar from The Fratellis he found his musical passion.

Teen who endured 70 throat operations up for John Lennon songwriting award after The Fratellis sent guitar Supplied

A Scottish teen who endured 70 throat operations after being born with a rare condition has been nominated for the John Lennon Song of the Year award.

Brodie Brown, from Stirling, was born with cystic hygroma – or Lymphangioma – a birth defect that left him unable to breathe naturally.

After his diagnosis, he went on to need more than 70 operations on his throat throughout his childhood and into his teens.

After his family moved to Kent to be closer to where Brodie could get treatment, he spent much of his childhood at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and was unable to attend school.

At the age of 14, after years of treatment, he experienced a mental breakdown that resulted in him being admitted to a mental hospital.

Famed Glaswegian indie band, The Fratellis, heard about Brodie's struggles and sent him a bass guitar.Supplied

Glaswegian band, The Fratellis, heard about Brodie’s struggles and sent him a bass guitar while he spent his 15th birthday in the facility undergoing treatment.

The young Scot had never played an instrument before receiving the guitar but quickly found a passion for music after it gave him a way to “express himself”.

His songs have since been described as “a rally-cry against the failing kids mental health system and his personal struggles with audible, visual and tactile psychosis”.

Brodie, now 17, released his debut single Monsters in 2023 and won the Grand Prize for Best Rock Song at the John Lennon Songwriting Awards that same year.

The song is now in the running for Song of the Year, despite the singer fighting for his life only one year ago.

On being considered for the award, Brodie said: “I can’t believe it. I just wanted people to know they’re not alone as most of my friends didn’t make it. I’m just lucky to have found my reason.”

Brodie Brown released his debut single Monsters in 2023.Supplied

The teen has also been offered a place at WaterBear College of Music to do a degree in songwriting despite having any traditional school qualifications.

Founder of the WaterBear College of Music, Bruce Dickenson, said: “When we heard his music, we knew we had to help, even though he didn’t meet the entry requirements.

“WaterBear exists to find and nurture raw talent so we worked with our partners at Falmouth University to formally recognise Brodie’s real-world musical achievements, and I am so pleased that we could offer a place on the degree due to the sheer quality of his musical output.

“This was so important to me, as I too left formal education with very few qualifications having spent my youth in van touring, and I was later able to get myself onto a degree course in the same way as Brodie.

“Music can change our lives and I see that everyday. Well done Brodie. Where you tread others will follow.”

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