Hope For A Family

With two weekly programs at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), we have had our fair share of memorable moments. One story recently shared with us truly touched our hearts, with a few tears shed among team MOC.

Colleen’s father was sent to HUP after multiple complications, including a second heart attack, kidney failure, intestinal faliure, and a blood clot in his foot (“The Doctors mentioned it may have needed to be amputated if it didn’t improve with medicine”). This came as a surprise to their entire family.


He wasn’t feeling well in the day prior, but none of us realized the seriousness of everything that was going on. We were told they couldn’t operate on his heart and it was possible he wouldn’t make it through the surgery on his intestines.


After said intestinal surgery, her father was admitted to the ICU, and her entire family (“4 brothers and sisters, myself and my mother”) was there to see him wake up. After a few moments of celebrating the victory of surgery survival, they heard a knock on the door.

Here’s what Colleen said happened next!


“Our first thought was that it was a nurse coming to tell us we all couldn’t be in there/we were too loud. But then we turned around and were shocked to see a man and woman with a guitar asking if it was ok to come in and sing!! My father is a huge fan of live music, plays the guitar himself and would always go to shows locally to see his friends’ bands. So to have the opportunity to have a live performance for him was truly a gift!

And we soon saw how it was even more helpful…they first played Margaritaville and then played Eagles’ music (one of my father’s favorite bands). And to all of our surprise, my father, who could barely string a sentence together and whose foot had lost its pulse, started singing the words and tapping BOTH feet along to the music (the doctors had said they would be watching to see if he could move his foot).

It was a beautiful and moving moment for all of us to share. It lifted all of our spirits and was truly magical. We will never forget the kindness and generosity of the two musicians who visited us that night. My sister looked up your group and found your facebook page and we were so happy to hear you all work in so many different hospitals across the country. The work you do is so selfless and important and we will be forever grateful. Much love to you all!”


Colleen, we are so glad your sister found us and you were able to tell us this amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing your moment with us!

Do you have a story about the healing power of music? Tell us all about it!

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Video credit to Beth Anne Harris, daughter of patient and sister to Colleen.

Smiling musician volunteer poses next to happy patient.

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