Michigan girl, 8, born without eyes uses music to help her through hospital visit
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (KTVU) - It's a heart-achingly touching moment that has moved many people to tears, including the artist who inspired a little girl to sing through her fears.
8-year-old Evie Hurst was born without eyes. The Midland, Michigan girl was brought to University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor last week for a procedure to monitor her for seizures.
In a video the hospital posted to Facebook, the child is clearly filled with anxiety and fear as medical technicians connect her to an EEG (electroencephalogram) for the testing.
In the post, the hospital explained that the child has always been scared of doctors.
And that fear is evident as you can hear her heartbreaking sobs of distress.
But everything changes, after a music therapist comes into the hospital room with a guitar in hand, to join the little girl and offer her comfort and support.
"Evie, who loves singing, immediately calmed down," the hospital wrote as part of its post.
Before coming into the room, therapist Emma Wymer found out from the child's mother what Evie's favorite song is.
In the video, you hear Wymer ask, "Are you ready?... Can you sing 'Scars to Your Beautiful' now?"
What happens next is an emotionally stirring moment, as Evie's angelic voice fills the room with Alessia Cara's song about self-love and inner strength.
"She just wants to be beautiful. She goes... unnoticed, she knows no limits," Evie starts off shaky as she sings through the fear.
The video cuts to her voice getting stronger as she belts out the words, "...hope that's waiting for you in the dark... beautiful just the way you are."
Since sharing the video last Thursday, it has been viewed more than 2.6K times, with many calling Evie's voice "breathtaking" and commenting that it brought them to tears.
One of those affected by the moving moment is Alessia Cara herself. After seeing the child's story, the singer took to Twitter writing, "in tears. most beautiful angel."
In fact, Cara was so inspired by the little girl, the artist reached out to Evie's family and is planning a meet and greet with her, hospital officials told KTVU.
Evie was adopted from China, according to the hospital.
"...her family is still trying to learn more about her medical history, which is a bit of a mystery," C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Beata Mostafavi told KTVU.
So visits to the hospital are part of the young girl's reality for now, as she undergoes more tests and examinations.
These visits are extremely stressful for Evie, Wymer explained. "Especially not being able to see what's going on and already having fear of medical professionals," the therapist added.
A case like this demonstrates how benefical music therapy can be for a patient.
"Music therapists provide different interventions to help children and their families- everything from pain management and helping children relax during procedures to teaching kids to play instruments," Mostafavi explained.
Wymer said she and the EEG techs could feel how special the little girl is.
"It definitely was a sense of calmness that rushed over the room," Wymer said. "Just to see her flip a switch and see calm overcome her."
This powerful moment clearly connected a little girl and her music therapist, who helped her young patient find her singing voice to cope and work through her anxiety.
"The two formed quite a bond by the end!" Mostafavi said. "Evie even went home with her own ukulele (with braille stickers to help her find the chords) that the family asked Emma to sign."
For Wymer and the medical team inside the room, it was an incredibly special moment.
"It did kind of take me by surprise. While I think all kids' voices are beautiful... I think Evie's voice really shined in this instance because she has a unique cheerful, positive voice, " Wymer said, "to hear this 8-year-old's voice... was a pretty amazing thing."
This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.