Taylin has suffered from scoliosis since the age of 7, but one day last May, she woke up and couldn’t walk. Her parents rushed her to Emergency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital where doctors made a shocking discovery – she had a benign tumour on her spine, from her brain stem down to her back. Thankfully, five days later, Dr. Walter Hader and Nurse Practitioner Kelly Bullivant were able to remove the entire tumour. It was a relief to her and her family, but it also meant she had a long road to recovery. During her three months stay in hospital, first in the PICU, then on unit 3, she soon found there were more people rallying behind her and her family than they thought. One of whom was Music Therapist Marc Houde.
Taylin’s journey has been difficult at times. She was suddenly confined to a wheelchair and began physiotherapy and occupational therapy to regain the strength in her neck and upper back. But because of her interest in music, she would light up whenever Marc would come in to visit with his guitar. He taught her chords and before long, the two were writing songs together. She enjoyed the bright distraction in her recovery, and the friendship that developed out of it.
When she started attending Gordon Townsend School that September, where she could keep up with her rehab and her studies at the same time, her favourite part of the day was Music Therapy class. Music kept up her spirits. It felt like something she could finally control. Marc even went above and beyond by recording one of their songs they wrote together and taking it home to edit it to give to her. Taylin’s journey is not over – she will have two more years of MRIs to keep tabs on her spine and has hopes of getting surgery to correct her scoliosis. To her family and friends, her bravery and resilience is inspiring.
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