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Music therapy helps children at Wolfson

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Patients at Wolfson Children's Hospital are finding healing through music -- taking their minds off their pain.

Fifteen-year-old Linda finds comfort and healing through music. Katie Goforth, a board certified music therapist at Wolfson, helps Linda and other kids heal with a melody they can unwind and relax to.

"Sometimes I go in and the patients are ready to be engaged and sing and play," Goforth said. "Sometimes they need to take a nap, so I'll do some auditory stimulation and sing some of their preferred music to help facilitate that."

With a guitar strapped to her back and a bag full of instruments, Goforth finds a way to make Linda's pain a little bit more bearable through music.

"The goals that I will address with her are increasing social interaction, increasing cognitive stimulation and normalizing the hospital environment," Goforth said.

Goforth works with up to 60 patients per week -- newborns to teenagers -- with diagnoses ranging from asthma to cancer. Linda's mom, Linda Greiff, said the music takes her daughter's mind off the pain -- not only comforting the teen but her mother as well.

"If she hears her in the hallway singing to somebody else, she knows she's coming to her room next and you know she just starts grinning and smiling," Greiff said. "If we're ever walking around on the floor and she sees Katie, she gets really happy cause she knows that she's gonna sing to her."

Many times Goforth is able to help a child relax and get them to sleep, which is helpful to the nursing staff. She said every child is different, and she feels both she and the children grow stronger with each session.