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Meet Frankie: A Craig Story

Donate below or read Frankie's Craig Story

Music – by way of Music Therapy – is life-changing for patients at Craig.

Frankie is a sophomore at the University of Colorado. During the school year, she underwent surgery for a heart issue, faced a surgical complication, and sustained a brain injury that caused cortical blindness. In addition to her significantly limited sight, when Frankie first came to Craig, she could not walk or speak more than three words in one breath. During her rehabilitation, Frankie worked with therapists to improve her balance, coordination, movement, memory, and speech.

At Craig, we know that rehabilitation is multi-faceted and unique to each patient. Frankie’s team knew that Music Therapy would help her with her walk, breath, and even her blindness.

Music reaches the brain in a unique way. We’ve seen patients sing their first words, take their first steps, and move their fingers for the first time after an injury with the assistance of music. For Frankie, Music Therapy has been integral in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

In private music therapy sessions, Frankie’s first goal was to speak more words within a breath. Annamarie, Craig’s music therapist, learned that Frankie loves to sing, so the pair worked on singing Frankie’s favorite songs. Through focus and hard work, Frankie was able to increase her stamina and breath control. She is now able to sing – and speak – more than 12 words per breath. This is critical for when she returns to school and will allow her to participate fully in her education and social life.

Because of her cortical blindness, Frankie relies on her other senses more acutely to navigate her environment and engage with people. She uses a guide cane when she walks and this cane makes different sounds on different surfaces. Annamarie and Frankie worked together to fine-tune her ability to isolate sounds amidst multiple competing noises through music sessions.

With a nod to Frankie’s love of musicals, Annamarie developed lyrics to the tune of songs from Les Misérables and Mary Poppins to use her guide cane on stairs. In collaboration with her physical therapist, Frankie worked on her balance, coordination, and gait, all while learning to use the cane. That is a lot to learn all at once!

It’s important to give because it’s good for the mind and body and helps patients like me. Craig is a nonprofit and is a great place to be, grow, and do things you could before your injury. Donations help patients like me every day.

Frankie Van Sant, Craig patient

Frankie’s remarkable progress would not have been possible without Music Therapy and donors who make the program thrive.

The first $10,000 in donations will be doubled by the Trask Family Foundation, so be sure to give today to double your impact. Imagine the difference you can make with your gift!

The Trask Family Foundation is challenging YOU to give with a $10,000 matching gift. Double your donation today!