'Hospice's music therapy brings my disabled child so much joy'

Isabella enjoying a music therapy session

Isabella enjoying a music therapy session - Credit: Noah's Ark Children's Hospice

A north London mother says the care of a local hospice has been instrumental in the development of her disabled baby.

Isabella was starved of oxygen when she was born earlier this year, meaning she now lives with cerebral palsy aged eight months old.

The baby’s mother Jo Amico, 35, says she would have struggled to cope without the support she has received from Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice – where Isabella receives one-to-one music therapy.

The hospice is based in Barnet and it helps families across north London including in Camden, Haringey and Islington.  

Jo, a marketing director from Haringey, told the Ham&High the service is “a really positive part” of her family’s journey with Isabella.

Isabella with her parents Jo and Andy, and a Noah's Ark support worker

Isabella with her parents Jo and Andy, and a Noah's Ark support worker - Credit: Noah's Ark Children's Hospice


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“It’s really lovely because we're living in a world of ‘wait and see’ where we're not sure what her abilities will be as she grows and gets older,” the parent said. 

“So being able to see her development and awareness in a non-medical setting has just been brilliant because everything is very medical when you have a sick baby.”    

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Isabella’s music therapy is delivered in a large sensory room with light-up toys. She loves the sessions so much she has started to put her hand out to strum the guitar before even the music therapist has started, Jo said. 

Due to Covid restrictions the majority of her eight-month-old's hospital appointments have been limited to a single parent – so she says the therapy has helped unite the family in a fun and upbeat environment. 

“It enables us to come together and celebrate Isabella which we are not able to do in any other setting apart from our own home,” Jo added.

Noah's Ark Children's Hospice has launched the No Child Left Behind appeal

Noah's Ark Children's Hospice has launched the No Child Left Behind appeal - Credit: Noah's Ark Children's Hospice

Noah’s Ark has just launched a fundraising appeal aiming to raise millions of pounds to help triple the number of unwell children it supports.

The charity’s director of care Hayley Manley said: “Being part of a team that has cared for 370 children over the last year has been more than just a moment in time.  

“We’ve helped 30 families say goodbye and we’ve been able to create some very special memories. 

“Resources for many children’s hospices are stretched at the moment as a result of the pandemic so we want to bring in as many children and families as possible and need help from the public to do that.”   

To donate to the No Child Left Behind appeal visit https://www.charityextra.com/nochildleftbehind

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