Harps help heal at MCG

By: Meredith Taylor
By: Meredith Taylor

September 27, 2006

Some say music is helping patients recover at the Medical College of Georgia.

On many days, it's a place you may only notice hard work. But several times a week at MCG, your ears may work overtime.

Nell Morris has been playing the harp for 12 and a half years. For the past four, she's used her gift to heal. It's part of the Healing Arts Program at the hospital.

"I really do think it touches the spirit, and I had patients tell me that," Nell says. "And I play for a lot of people in a lot of pain."

"Oh my goodness, if she were playing every day, I'd stay for a month," says MCG patient Jack Averitt.

Because of eye problems, Jack can't read right now, and he has been a bit down about it.

"Somehow that's not a problem anymore," he told News 12. "[The harp music] has lifted my spirits to the ethereal realm."

Not only does Jack get something out of the music on his floor, but it also does something for people other than the patients.

"When I started to play, the staff doctors, nurses, they would just sort of stand in the hallway and be quiet," Nell says.

A little peace in an almost guaranteed hectic day.

"It does seem to make a difference, and so whatever small part that is, I want to do it," says Nell.

And while Jack could go home soon, doctors, take note: he may request a longer stay.

"I'll just tell them I cannot go home!"

Incidentally, Jack is a former Georgia Southern professor. He and Nell were at the university at the same time years ago.

If you'd like to volunteer to play an instrument for the Healing Arts Program, call 706-721-1188.

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