Nurses Sing Backstreet Boys Songs to Atlanta Cancer Patient Who Missed Concert Due to Diagnosis
Amanda Coley was diagnosed with leukemia just three weeks before she was set to see the Backstreet Boys in concert
Amanda Coley, 36, has loved the Backstreet Boys since she was a teenager. So she and her sister, Maggie Kingston, were elated at Christmas last year when their husbands gave them tickets to the band’s August show in Atlanta.
The sisters waited eagerly for the big day, and Coley couldn’t stop talking about the Aug. 21 concert. But her dreams of seeing the boy band live were crushed on Aug. 1 when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“We found out about three weeks ago that [Coley] had leukemia,” Kingston, 25, tells PEOPLE of her sister. “She was like, ‘So I can’t go to the Backstreet Boys concert?’ That was the first thing she said. She was crying. Both of us are huge fans. She told me I should go. But I said, ‘I’m not gonna go if you don’t go!’ ”
After Coley was admitted to the hospital and started undergoing treatment, Kingston wanted to do something special for the mom of four as the date of the concert drew near. She teamed up with Coley’s friend, Celena Townsend, to plan a small surprise party in her hospital room at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.
“It was my idea to go up there and play music and eat junk food,” Coley says. “[Coley’s] son Mason made these little invitations and we asked the nurse to pass them out to the other nurses on the floor. We just wanted them to stop by and say hi.”
But the nurses decided to go above and beyond. A group of them danced into Coley’s hospital room clapping and singing songs by the Backstreet Boys. Kingston says they performed three numbers as Coley sang along.
“I was crying! It was really emotional. We didn’t expect it. We were just in awe,” Kingston says. “Amanda danced with them! She was in heaven. She said it was really cool and emotional. She shed a couple happy tears.”
Photos from the celebration showed Coley, Kingston and Townsend wearing matching shirts and Coley smiling wide in her bed. A Facebook video of the party has been viewed nearly 2,500 times.
“I went up there with a speaker and a cake and now it’s everywhere! Everywhere I turn, it’s there!” Kingston says of the viral video. “We thought it would die down … I’m just like, ‘Wow!’ Amanda loves it, it’s something for her to do. She’s still in the hospital so it’s something for her to read and do.”
The video even caught the attention of beloved Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, who came across the video on Twitter.
“We missed you last night Amanda! Looks (and sounds) like you have a great team helping you get better,” Carter tweeted the day after the concert. “We’re thinking of you and sending you love ❤️To the nurses of Northside Cancer Center, thank you for all you do!!”
Kingston says she and Coley were ecstatic when they saw the tweet, and that the message was the icing on the cake after the pick-me-up party for Coley.
“It’s emotional,” Kingston tells PEOPLE. “It’s joyful and her spirits are so lifted because of something so small — well, something I thought was going to be so small.”