Children’s Miracle Network Kids: Recover Through Music
MARSHFIELD, Wisconsin (WSAW) – Three years ago, the parents of a Marshfield Children’s Miracle Kid had no idea what their young son’s life would be like. Thanks to years of music therapy, this Miracle Kid breaks all records.
In 2018, a typical day for 9-year-old Ethan Lehman turned into an unforgettable tragedy for him and his family.
“When Ethan was 9 years old, a tree branch fell and hit him on the head,” said Ethan’s mother Kara Lehman. “He suffered serious cranial and facial fractures. He spent a total of four months at Marshfield Children’s Hospital.
After the accident, her family were unsure of the challenges they would face.
“I remember asking what his chances of survival were, and they were hesitant to even tell us,” Kara said. “He finally told us that about 1% of children with this type of injury will survive and the majority of that 1% will not have normal lives.”
Through physical, occupational and speech therapy, Ethan persevered.
“He had to relearn how to speak,” Kara explained. “He had to learn to walk. He had to learn how to use the bathroom and how to eat.
But a different therapy would simultaneously produce a better outcome for Ethan while keeping him entertained.
“Music therapy is the use of music and the elements of music to achieve goals unrelated to music,” said Dani Vance, board-certified music therapist.
Vance is just one of the music therapists who work with Ethan. Another is Amanda Czarnecki who explained how a music therapy technique was not new to Ethan.
“Music mnemonics training or MMT,” Czarnecki explained. “It’s a technique used to help memorize and relearn pieces of information. A well known example of MMT would be the way we all learn the alphabet. We have 26 different pieces of information, we put it in a song, and that’s how most of us learned the alphabet.
Listening to music can, among other things, reduce anxiety, pain, and blood pressure, according to Johns Hopkins.
Three years later, at age 12, Ethan still enjoys playing and listening to music.
“My favorite type of music is jazz music,” he said.
He also thanks his music therapists for having reintroduced an abundance of information in a pleasant way.
“I like what you taught me,” Ethan said. ” You are the best. i’m talking about you two [referring to Vance and Czarnecki]. “
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