An Oklahoma toddler is experiencing the healing powers of music at The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany.
Kolton Carter of Healdton had a heart transplant as an infant and part of his rehab is musical therapy, which many people do not know about.
March is Musical Therapy Awareness Month and much of the 2-year-old's progress is because of his musical therapy.
“He reaches and grabs and releases things now where he would never do that before,” said his mother, Jenny Carter.
Kolton can now grasp and reach thanks to Brooke Roulet and the rest of the therapists at The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
Kolton was born with five different congenital heart defects and then when he was 3-months-old, he went into cardiac arrest. He had no heartbeat for 25 minutes and was revived, but needed a heart transplant. The surgery was successful.
“It was a day full of emotions. It was happy and sad and scared mostly,” Carter said.
Kolton lost all movement on his right side from the 25-minute pulseless arrest, so his parents tried musical therapy.
“It activates both areas of the brain so you can use music to reroute areas that have been injured,” said Roulet.
Roulet uses music to help Kolton work on communication, stretch and strengthen his limbs, and move his mouth to make sounds.
“They're actually doing the same thing they would be doing in PT, OT, Speech, but you're using instruments and they don't even realize they're doing therapy,” Roulet told News 9.
Carter said she is going to get a keyboard at home to continue Kolton's musical therapy.
“He's just a little fighter,” Carter said.
You must have a degree and be board certified to be a musical therapist. Right now, Southwestern Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts are the only Oklahoma universities that offer the program.