on the field while running sprints. He went into sudden cardiac arrest and for nearly 30 minutes stopped breathing and had no pulse. Thanks to the immediate response from his coach and a nearby parent who performed CPR, Tanner survived and has no residual side effects.
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on the Norton Healthcare – St. Matthews campus offers
music therapy for infants and their families.
This clinical and evidence-based health practice is very different from expressive therapy, which uses music along with art, massage, writing, drama and more to help patients and families express feelings and cope with emotions. NICU music therapy is used to improve the parent-infant bond, help parents cope with their child’s illness and hospitalization, and achieve a variety of medical and developmental goals, including:
The therapy usually takes place at the bedside and includes family whenever possible. Sessions may include gentle lullaby-style singing, guitar music, therapeutic touch and personalized lullaby writing.
“Parents, families and staff consistently report how infants show noticeable benefits after receiving music therapy, whether it be improved oxygen saturation levels, more motivation and endurance during feeding, or increased alertness when cuddling,” said Michael Detmer, board-certified and NICU-certified music therapist.
Music therapy in the NICU is funded by the Children’s Hospital Foundation and other donors.
Caring for children is a cherished value that guides Mark J. McDonald, M.D., named the new medical director of the children’s
hospital in 2015. He ensures this value guides the actions and certifies the commitment of every member of the care team.
As medical director, Dr. McDonald divides his time between caring for children needing intensive care and administrative responsibilities.
Having been the medical director for critical care, Dr. McDonald has had the opportunity to work with many physicians throughout the
hospital and can help identify areas that need structure or improvement.
“The critical care unit is one of the epicenters of the hospital, receiving patients from the emergency department, operating room or direct admits to the hospital,” he said. “So the relationships I have formed and my knowledge of the hospital’s administrative structure will help me as I guide everyone toward our goal of providing care to children who need it.”
n email received in early 2013 ultimately changed the lives of a Kentucky family
and an infant living in China. That’s when Shelly White received a particular prayer
request from Show Hope: A Movement to Care for Orphans, an organization she
and her family supported. The prayer request was for Mya, an abandoned baby who had stage 4 cancer.
“For some reason, Mya’s situation was so heartbreaking to me and I felt an intense calling to help,” Shelly said. “Our family prayed every day for Mya, but constant prayer just didn’t seem like enough for me.”
That’s when Shelly and her husband, Hal, first thought of actually adopting Mya.
“Our family just felt a strong calling from God to take
charge and get this little girl the care she desperately
needed,” Shelly said.
The first step was finding a hospital to take on Mya’s
care. The Whites contacted the children’s hospital,
which agreed to take Mya’s case. Mya arrived in Louisville
on May 7, 2013, and began chemotherapy treatments
just two days later.
Despite a difficult cancer diagnosis and months of complicated treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, Mya is now cancer-free.
“Mya is still as active as can be considering everything she’s gone through,” Hal said. “She runs, plays in the dirt, climbs things and acts just like a typical toddler would.”
“Mya has forever changed our family’s life,” Shelly said. “This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but the best thing we’ve ever done and we’re just so blessed for the gift we’ve received and that God has watched over us through this whole journey.”
Tanner Demling was born 10 weeks premature with a rare congenital heart defect, but it hasn’t stopped him from playing sports and staying active. After undergoing surgery as an infant, his heart remained healthy and never showed signs of stress. But during lacrosse
practice in fall 2014,
Tanner, then a 16-year-old
sophomore at Trinity High School in Louisville, collapsed
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