And a huge thank you to those that have made the space possible. The Barton family who continue to celebrate the wonderful life of Sophie by these gracious gifts, the Forever Young Foundation and Furnitureland South, they have been so supportive to help us be one of the few Sophie's places.
It always feels like a miracle takes place for us to find a Sophie's Place. We have a motto: "Music changes everything." Sophie grew up and was a singer that wondered also, "What in the world will I do?", as well. And what a mature thing for a 17-year old to think to herself, "I know I want to be a performer, but what else am I going to do?" About a year after we lost Sophie very suddenly without advice, Barb and Steve were our dear friends and it really helped us through this. It came to Barb almost in a dream. She woke up with the idea and called me immediately and said, "What if?" And this is the what if.
There's a special spirit in here. You are no longer in the hospital. You're transformed, you're somewhere else. The gift of music therapy is you can heal better and faster with music. One quick story about Sophie was that she sang and would write and she kept eight journals. And picking them up one day and moving them and a note fell out. We picked up the note and it said, "Things I want to do before I die." And it was just so different for a young girl to write such a list, but she had some amazing things on there, some that were just really fun and silly, like, "Sneak out of the house with my friends." The one that really impressed me was she said she wanted to change someone's life. And she's done it. She's done it for not just a person, but for many, many people.
Music works on both sides of the brain and firing synapses and creating new neuro pathways. And then we were witnessing kids with traumatic brain injuries who had forgotten how to eat, but they could hit a drum and then they could use that movement to eventually teach them how to eat. It was exactly the timing to bring her passion and my passion and bring it together and have her live forever.
We're here in the spirit of Sophie to really spread the joy and the love of music therapy, because for us, we're just paying it forward. We are in a labor of love to bring music therapy wherever we possibly can.
My first patient in here was actually a trauma patient who was a paraplegic below the neck and also couldn't speak because she was intubated. And she hadn't been out of her room, since she had gotten here. By her communicating via eyesight, she would look at different people and we would say, "All right, should your doctor play the guitar or should we play the piano? Should your nurse play the maraca or should she play the guitar?" And she would look at each option and choose. She just had the brightest smile on her face.
And the reason she came down here wasn't just for her to be a kid, but was to get her out of her room and to get her to sit in her chair for at least 10 minutes. And when it time to go back to her room, she didn't want to go back at all. So we got to give her the opportunity to be a kid. We gave her the opportunity to work with physical therapy, to work on her motor skills, to just keep healing here. And that's just the opportunity that we get to provide so many patients. Music changes everything is so simple, but it says so much, and I'm honored to be a part of this space that has helped so many patients and families across the country. And I can't wait to see its impact.
The talent that's been shared today, the generosity of our donors, their community, makes such a difference in the lives of not only the children and families here at Brenner, but of the staff too.