Doctor’s offices can be scary, especially if you frequent them. You start to understand what kinds of things go on there, and when you’re young, it’s hard not to associate trips with fear and pain.
Evie Hurst has had more than her fair share of doctor’s visits. They haven’t gone particularly well for her in the past, and the 8-year-old is terrified of doctors.
Thankfully, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has something that the child loves: a music therapist. It was this music therapist, Emma Wymer, who changed the young girl’s perspective and may have helped her face future appointments without the same sense of dread.
Evie was adopted from China and her parents know very little about her past. Beata Mostafavi, a hospital spokesperson, told KTVU, “Her family is still trying to learn more about her medical history, which is a bit of a mystery.”
Recently, Evie was at the hospital for an Electroencephalogram, seizure testing. She was crying in terror as the nurses hooked her up, and for good reason: she couldn’t see anything. Evie was born without eyes, and if you imagined what it would be like to have a procedure done while not being able to see, you’d probably be pretty freaked out, too.
But the video shows a complete transformation as Wymer asks Evie to sing “Scars to your Beautiful,” which she’d found out was the little girl’s favorite song. Evie noticeably calmed and lost herself in the music.
“8-yr-old Evie, who is blind, was anxious about a procedure involving seizure testing,” the hospital wrote to Facebook on Feb. 21. “But everything changed when our music therapist walked into the room.”
Wymer told KTVU that Evie hated appointments, “Especially not being able to see what’s going on and already having fear of medical professionals.”
“It definitely was a sense of calmness that rushed over the room,” she continued, speaking of the moment music was introduced into the procedure preparations. “Just to see her flip a switch and see calm overcome her.”
“It did kind of take me by surprise. While I think all kids’ voices are beautiful … I think Evie’s voice really shined in this instance because she has a unique cheerful, positive voice. To hear this 8-year-old’s voice … was a pretty amazing thing.”
The hospital has definitely recognized the power of music and is one of many that have begun to implement music therapy.
“Music therapists provide different interventions to help children and their families — everything from pain management and helping children relax during procedures to teaching kids to play instruments,” Mostafavi said.
It clearly worked for Evie. Perhaps she won’t fear her next appointment so much if she knows Wymer will be there.
“The two formed quite a bond by the end!” Mostafavi said. “Evie even went home with her own ukulele (with Braille stickers to help her find the chords) that the family asked Emma to sign.”
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