SALT LAKE CITY – Music and art therapy have been proven to help children manage pain, express their emotions, and maintain a positive attitude during their hospital stay.
Within the framework of Give-A-Thon for KSL elementary school children campaign, we met a patient named Sophia who benefited from both dance and music therapy in the hospital.
Sophia is 14 years old and Primary Children’s Hospital has been part of his life from the very beginning.
“Before she was born, we knew she was coming with problems,” said her father, Nelson Mousques.
She enjoys music, dancing and interacting with people.
“She has end-stage heart disease, which is hypoplastic left melon syndrome,” her father described. “So only a two-chambered heart, instead of a four-chambered heart.”
When she was only three weeks old, she underwent her first heart operation.
Since then, several other procedures have followed.
“She carried oxygen 100% of the time for the first three years of her life,” her father said.
At four and a half, they received a heartbreaking diagnosis.
“She was diagnosed with leukemia the first time,” said her mother, Claudia Mousques. “The chemotherapy was really hard on her. “
“She got septic,” Nelson explained. “That first week infection went to her brain, created some abscesses on her brain, so it was, it was hard.”
Claudia explained, “She was struggling. So, I say, what do we call music therapy, you know, to make her feel a little better because she was miserable.
Sophie loved it!
“The nurse just came to take her temperature and it went down. I was like, wow, we need this therapy every day, ”Claudia said.
“Primary Children’s is so special in that music, art and dance therapists work together to sculpt an experience for a child,” said Tawna Halbert, a dance movement therapist. “And every child is different.”
In May, Sophia’s family received very difficult news.
“They said his leukemia had come back,” Nelson said.
During her current treatments, dance and music therapy continue to make a difference for Sophia.
Halbert said: “As a dance movement therapist, we help children process their experience in a very natural way. So it replaces that kind of fight or flight with relaxation, creativity, and joy.
“We are more than grateful to have these resources, right here at the hospital, and it has been great for Sophia,” added Claudia. “Music therapy and dance therapy really have a huge impact on his health most of the time. “
Nelson asked Sophia, “Do you like dancing? ”
“Yes!” Sophie replied.
” Do you like singing ? You think you like it, ”he said with a smile.
Again, Sophie said, “Yes! “
“For them to have scheduled times each day where they can feel joy is really wonderful,” Tawna explained. “It gives them a space to feel heard and frustrated and angry, and we can deal with that together. “
Claudia turned to Sophia: “You mean thank you?”
Sophia replied, “Thank you. “
Dance, art and music therapy programs are made possible and funded by generous donations from the community.
As part of our Give-A-Thon for the Hospital campaign, you can make a difference for children like Sophia.
You can make a donation by clicking here.