Last night I saw on Facebook a video that made me smile from ear to ear. I bring it to you today, and I want to tell you also the impressive story that is behind this beautiful scene.
A little boy with Down syndrome who learns to speak with songs
The small protagonist of this story is called Bo, he is American, he is 25 months old and he is one of those little angels who have Down syndrome. He is the youngest of four brothers (and he has a sister too). This Monday his mother, Amanda Bowman Gray, posted this video on her Facebook profile. In the text that accompanies the video Amanda explains that her daughter Lydia was looking at Bo. The girl has a guitar that helps her take care of her little brother. And how is that possible? “It’s proof that music therapy works,” says Amanda. “Bo is 25 months old and has a 12 word vocabulary. Every word he has learned has been through music and singing.” In the video we see Lydia singing to the child a famous American country song, “You are my sunshine”, written in 1939 by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. The video has gone viral: 34 million people have seen it in 3 days.
A beautiful country song to try to comfort Bo
This is a very special musical theme for this little boy, as his mother explained in another publication that same day. Amanda and her husband, Caleb, are musicians. His little Bo was admitted to a pediatric hospital – the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah – for cardiac surgery, and “ended up going downhill really fast really bad. He was one of the sickest children on the West Coast for a few weeks,” his mother recalls. He spent a lot of time with an ECMO machine, which is used to provide breathing and heart support to patients whose lungs and heart are severely damaged. “After weeks and weeks (which ended up in months) of being in the hospital in a silent room,” says his mother, “we got special permission to bring a guitar in and sing to him in hopes that it would comfort him as they believed that he could still hear us even though he couldn’t physically respond.”
A month before the operation of the small Bo, Amanda and Caleb had begun to rehearse “You are my sunshine” for some concerts. “At night we would practice and sing this song while he was in my arms,” says Amanda. The song is very famous, but for those who do not know it, this is its lyrics:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are grey,
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you,
Please, don’t take my sunshine away.”
The music ended up working a ‘little miracle’
Caleb took the guitar to the hospital, and he and his wife asked one of the nurses to videotape the moment they sang the song to the child. “This was the first time that he moved as he reacted to the familiarity of the song and our voices,” Amanda explains. “From then on this has become his theme song. We are firm believers in music therapy!” In the following video you can see that amazing moment in which the child started to move when listening to his parents singing:
Bo’s mother explains that the boy survived and that two international studies have been interested in his case “because he should’ve never survived what his little body had gone through.“ The doctors and the surgeons were surprised. “He seriously is our little miracle,” says his mother. My congratulations to this family for that little miracle.
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