Chris’ Story

Making music with our music therapist Alan helped Chris to express himself and re-gain his musical identity during his recovery from meningitis in hospital last year. Read his story:

Chris was found unconscious on his floor in August last year, and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis in hospital. He was in a coma for three days and when he did re-gain consciousness, he was unable to talk or co-ordinate movements. Despite this, Chris’s mind was still active and he became frustrated by his lack of independence which left him feeling depressed and bored.

Whilst working as a joiner, Chris had been a keen guitarist, singer, songwriter and performer, and was referred to music therapy as a positive way to channel his creativity. The sessions soon became a key highlight of Chris’ week where he was able to express himself and keep his mind active. His dad commented saying: “When I talked to Chris after his sessions I could tell he had been lifted in a way that nothing else could reach. Whilst occupational therapy and physio were getting his body back on track, it was the music therapy that was getting his mind and creative juices cranked up again.”

Working with Alan, Chris started to write some lyrics, slowly putting into words how he was feeling, what kind of day he was having and his wishes for the future: “I just want to get better and talk again, walk out the door and play my guitar”. Each week a little bit more was added to the song and it slowly took shape, musically and lyrically. Despite tiring easily, Chris practiced his vocals each week, working hard on both his diction and performance.

Music therapy, and writing his song with Alan, was a powerful reminder for Chris of his musical identity in a time of illness and great change.

Chris concluded: “Music means the world to me and writing the song was all I thought about. It was my first step again towards normality.”

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