Music Therapy Student Stories-Rob

Rob, age 29, Music Therapy

Rob was a healthy and lively 22 year old who loved hockey and playing guitar until a severe car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, putting him in a 9-month coma. “It was a nightmare.” Rob’s dad, Jerry, said. “We weren’t sure when he was going to be back with us.” But one day during his recovery, something incredible happened. His dad explains that, “The day we knew that he was back, one of his friends came to visit him and brought a guitar and stuck it in Rob’s hand. Suddenly, Rob started making all of the chords with his left hand. His friend, using his own hand, started strumming the chords with him.” Rob’s deep affinity for music was clear.

While Rob is in a wheelchair now and can’t speak, his smile and love of music are as apparent as ever. He comes to MacPhail for music therapy to work with his therapist, Ranell. “We’ve tried many different therapies, but music therapy is something Rob looks forward to, something he has stuck with. Ranell is someone who understands him and pushes him to keep going forward.”

The work of music therapy has not only been a creative and cognitive support for Rob, but he can now strum with his right hand, something Jerry attributes to his work at MacPhail as much as his physical therapy. “He does not give up. If he finds something he wants to do there’s no stopping him and we want to give him that support in every way. I believe in him. I think he’s going to walk one day. He knows that his Mom and Dad are going to keep moving him forward. He knows that we believe in him. And we do.” Music therapy has been a driving force in Rob’s life and his bond with music today is as strong as ever.