OGDDEN, UTAH — Sometimes, the music just flows.
A retired orchestra teacher treated hospital staff to a handful of special concerts in early October to thank them for caring so deeply for their COVID-19 patients.
He played because the tube in his throat prevented him from speaking, but the staff at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah, knew exactly what Grover Wilhelmsen was telling them, NBC News reported.
“His idea — he came up with it — was to be able to have his family bring in his violin and viola to be able to play for us,” registered nurse Ciara Sase told the Deseret News. “He was just so involved in the music, and it was beautiful to see. It brought tears to my eyes instantly, and I couldn’t stop bawling like a baby just listening to him.”
In a video that has since been posted to YouTube by the hospital’s parent company, Intermountain Healthcare, Wilhelmsen can be heard playing the “Tennessee Waltz” while Sase looks on.
Although intensive care unit rooms are kept closed to limit contamination, Sase said she turned on her Vocera, a communication device used in hospital settings, to allow her colleagues to share Wilhelmsen’s talent, NBC News reported.
Medical staff told the Deseret News that Wilhelmsen played for a few hours on consecutive days.
“It’s a very humbling memory and experience for me to be able to look back on,” Sase told the outlet.
“It’s a very special one that I will forever hold dear to my heart because out of this I was able to be a part of something that was much bigger than myself and much bigger than COVID. We were really able to provide a lot of peace and comfort and encouragement to the patient, Grover, himself as well as the entire staff, the entire unit,” she added.
Wilhelmsen, who owns a business teaching music instruction and repairing instruments, was discharged from the ICU on Nov. 10 and placed in a long-term acute care facility, where his family said they expect him to make a full recovery, the Deseret News reported.
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