Adaiah smiles as her mom, Tatiana, holds her up amid the chorus and seeming chaos. Child Life staff sings a serenade, bells ring, her Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital care team surrounds the 2-year-old.
But this is hardly chaos. It’s a well-considered celebration of the end of chemotherapy for a child who had a heart transplant at 3 months and later cancer and treatments. Adaiah has packed much into her two years. Still, she smiles.
“Today is exciting,” Tatiana says.
“She has overcome some enormous challenges,” says Erin Seibert, M.A., MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist. “Our Child Life team re-wrote the 7 South bell-ringing song so it focused on the celebration of completing chemo and utilized the phrase ‘wepa,’ which is a phrase used in Puerto Rico to exclaim excitement. We brought those lyrics to sing, and made a makeshift ‘bell’ for Adaiah to ring, along with other instruments that could be used in her challenging infection prevention room.
“Seeing her smile among so many staff that have cared for her was a wonderful experience!”
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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