A lilting voice and strumming guitar drown out the noise of medical equipment in 3-year-old Moses Thompson’s room at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. As he beats on a small drum with shakers and hits a colorful xylophone with mallets, he has no idea that this fun experience is also therapy.
"Good job, Moses," says Child Life Specialist Heather Troyer, who is teaming up with Music Therapy and Occupational Therapy colleagues to co-treat the little boy. His dad, Sean Thompson, M.D., is a Riley emergency medicine physician who works just two floors below Moses’ room. He says this kind of therapy has been “amazing” for Moses, who spends lots of time at Riley because of a rare lung condition.
“Moses loves music,” explains Dr. Thompson. “He had been intubated for a while and was fairly weak, so the goal was getting back to his baseline function. Music therapy provides stimulation and distraction, which is great for him. Occupational therapy was helping him work on his upper arm strength by stacking and grabbing. Child Life also makes a big difference for us, whether it’s singing songs with him or walking into the operating room with him where we can’t go to keep him calm and comfortable. Overall, it has been a wonderful experience for us. They know Moses very well and love him.”
Did you know? Riley Children’s Foundation donors provide 80% of funding for Riley’s team of 24 Child Life Specialists. Thank you for making a difference for children like Moses.