Micah and his twin brother Zachary were born three months prematurely. Zachary went home after three months in the NICU, but Micah’s hospitalization continued. In total, Micah spent three months in the NICU and seven months in the PICU.
Throughout Micah’s hospitalization, his parents dedicated themselves to making his life as joyful as possible. Together, they read books, played music, sang songs, made hand and foot prints, created art projects, brought in their beloved Labrador, Benjie, and decorated Micah’s room with pictures, butterflies, and light up toys. Mott’s music therapy program was an integral part of this process. Nearly every day, Bob, Mott’s music therapist, filled Micah’s room with the healing sound of music. Micah’s parents danced with him, cuddled with him, and relaxed with him, as Bob strummed his guitar.
Music provides calm amidst chaos and peace in times of heartache. Music transcends time, space, language and all other barriers. “He always smiled, even though he was sick,” said Micah’s mother.
Micah’s smiles carried his parents through the difficult months of medical procedures and daily visits to the hospital. His smiles also gave them strength when faced with the realization that Micah would not live through his first birthday. In Micah’s memory, his parents have established the Micah Smiles Fund to help grow and expand the C.S. Mott Music Therapy Program. It is their hope that more patients and their families can experience the peace, joy, and comfort that live music brings.