Bruno Mars Meets Inspirational Girl Who Used His Music to Recover from Coma
Last March, a young girl from Ohio called Zumyah Thorpe was in a car with her older sister Zulaikah, two younger sisters and pregnant mother, when a pickup truck being driven by a drunk driver collided with them. Tragically, Zulaikah and Zumyah were the only survivors in their car.
Zumyah, only 11 years old, had sustained a traumatic brain injury, lying in a coma and wasn’t expected to pull through – almost three-quarters of people with the same injuries don’t make it through, and those that do often can’t talk, walk, or eat on their own.
Every night, while Zumyah lay in a coma, the doctors would play her favourite artist, Bruno Mars, to her. And they started to see improvements!
Zumyah finally woke up, but at first she was unable to talk or walk because her language and motor skills had been severely impaired from her injuries. But that didn’t stop her from listening to her favourite songs, and it wasn’t long before she was forming words again and able to sing one of those songs.
“No one can really understand what we have been through when you see a child that is in a coma and unable to walk, talk,” said Ronda, the girls’ grandmother. “When she actually wakes up and is able to speak, the first thing she does is sing the one Bruno Mars song, which is [Just the Way You Are].”
Zumyah’s doctors are convinced that her own personal musical therapy is what has helped the girl recovery as quickly as she has done, quicker than most, and has helped her with her physical therapy as well, starting to walk again.
If you haven’t reached for your tissues yet, now might be a good time…
Bruno Mars heard about Zumyah, and her story touched him. She was going to attend his Ohio concert, and the singer arranged a private meeting with her beforehand.
“[Bruno] gave me this and a bag with a lot of stuff,” a very happy Zumyah said, indicating to a teddy bear she was holding.
At the concert, Bruno shared Zumyah’s story with his 20,000 fans in attendance, before telling them that his next song was dedicated to the brave girl.
Jumping off the stage, he went over to Zumyah and hugged her close to him, while he and the rest of the crowd sang the song that was the first thing she was able to utter after waking from her coma: (You’re Amazing) Just the Way You Are.
He then gave her the hat he had been wearing and rushed back over to the stage to grab a guitar, which he then also handed to her.
“Zumyah, tonight you gave my band and I something we’ve never felt before,” Bruno Mars said on Instagram with a posted picture of himself and Zumyah. “You’re an inspiration to the world! #WeLoveYouZumyahFollow.”
Zumyah’s strength, bravery and smile after all she has been through is certainly something to be shared with the whole world – an amazing and inspirational little girl!
You can watch Bruno’s dedication to Zumyah here.