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21 Jun 2019, 9:04 a.m.
Patient Stories

14-year-old Anja is one of the many patients Karen, our dedicated Music Therapist, visits each day at Bristol Children’s Hospital. In fact, Karen has known Anja since she was just five-years-old.

Anja has a form of epilepsy called Lennox Gastaut which is hard to treat. She suffers multiple seizures a day that are extremely debilitating. So much so that this year she underwent brain surgery to separate the left side of the brain from the right side to try to reduce the severity of her seizures. Throughout this time, music therapy has been an important tool for Anja who also has special needs and no speech.

Anja and Karen Music Therapist

Music therapy opens up a range of possibilities for non-verbal patients like Anja. With the pluck of a guitar string or the press of a button, she is able to communicate with the world around her. It’s clear to see music has connected with Anja in an incredible way and with the help of Karen’s musical skill she can relax and have a break from seizures several hours after sessions.

Hospital can be a frightening experience for children and on her latest admission to Bristol Children’s Hospital, our Music Therapists were also on hand to comfort Anja during her time in intensive care and help her rehabilitation.

Both our Music Therapists Claire and Karen help many more children like Anja, having delivered over 1,000 sessions across Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital. We’re immensely proud to provide this service that is invaluable to so many.