Katie Bowyer learned about music therapy in high school. “I knew right away that was it,” says the North Carolina college graduate of her career path. Halfway through a sixth-month internship for board certification, her harmonic voice provides welcome solace in a hospital room otherwise interrupted by beeps from medical equipment.
Music therapy reduces anxiety, fosters social interactions during long hospital stays, and helps the developmental needs of tiny patients such as Jessalyn, whose daddy, Jesus, commutes from Utah during her eight-month hospital stay following surgery for congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Long before her saucer-sized eyes fixed on her daddy’s smile, Jessalyn’s mom, Jessica, was singing You are my Sunshine to her even before she was born. It’s the perfect song for today’s daddy-princess visit.
With Jessica remaining at Jessalyn’s bedside for an estimated six to eight weeks of recovery, Jesus has to return to Utah on Sunday for work and to be with Jessalyn’s two older brothers. He’s almost finished painting the nursery pink and silver for her long-awaited arrival home.
Bowyer exits the room singing goodbye and softly strumming her guitar.
Mixing fun and fundamentals helps patients and their siblings keep their studies up to speed.
Miss University of Florida visits with patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and makes a special stop to visit the orthopaedic surgeon who repaired her spine.
A skin-to-skin bonding technique called Kangaroo Care helps 3 week old Rylee thrive and grow.
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