At a recent Bruno Mars concert (28 June 2014) in Cleveland, Ohio, in front of 20,000 fans, the singer Bruno Mars serenaded Zumyah Thorpe who sustained a severe brain injury in a road traffic accident which sadly killed her pregnant mother and two younger sisters.
Following such a horrific accident, which was caused by a drunk driver crashing into Zumyah’s mother’s car, it was expected the 11 year old would not survive.
As is common with very serious brain injury, Zumyah was initially in a coma. Her doctors have said that she came out of the coma listening to Bruno Mars’ songs. Her favourite was “You’re Amazing”, which was the same song Bruno sang for Zumyah.
Zumyah’s doctors credited much of this to music therapy. Her doctor said “I am absolutely convinced that singing those Bruno Mars songs and being able to say Bruno Mars is in itself a miracle”. It is understood that Zumyah’ nurses played Bruno Mars’ songs to her at the hospital every night. Zumyah’s grandmother, Ronda, has suggested that not long after coming out of the coma, Zumyah started singing Bruno’s song “You’re Amazing”.
The Brain Injury Association, Headway, as far back as 20 December 2010 (https://www.headway.org.uk/music-therapy-after-brain-injury-a-systematic-review.aspx) referred to the Cochrane Foundation conducting a review of evidence which suggested that music therapy could be effective in treating the walking difficulties of stroke patients. However, its effectiveness in other problem areas and in the treatment of other types of acquired brain injury was inconclusive and Headway advised that further research was needed.
Further research on the effectiveness of music therapy as part of a brain injured patient’s rehabilitation is needed. The positive effect of it on Zumyah does show that music therapy can have a positive impact on brain injured patients.
We at hlw Keeble Hawson Solicitors are specialist Solicitors experienced in acting for those who have suffered brain injury. We welcome Bruno Mars’ contribution which has raised awareness of brain injury.
We always promote early and positive rehabilitation treatment for our clients to aid them in their recovery and we will be interested in further research to assess the effectiveness of music therapy rehabilitation.
If you or a member of your family have sustained brain injury and you wish to obtain further advice, please contact our specialist brain injury solicitors, Mark Hollinghurst on 01302 380223 or Aisha Ahmed on 01302 308694.