A Great Read: How Music Saved Allison Woyiwada’s Brain

When doctor’s discovered a massive aneurysm inside Allison Woyiwada’s head, they had to get it out using some pretty radical techniques. While they got the aneurysm, the brain surgery altered Allison. This story in the Ottawa Citizen explains how music helped this retired teacher from Ottawa get back to normal.

It would begin with an exceedingly rare type of brain surgery — Woyiwada’s blood would be chilled and her heart stopped — that rendered her, for a brief time, clinically dead.It would continue through an uncertain recovery when no one was sure, least of all Woyiwada, whether the ‘old Allison’ would return. Three months after her surgery, she had the communication skills of a toddler. Woyiwada was afraid that she might never return to the adult world.

Music, a lifelong devotion, would come to her rescue.

With the help of music therapy — an approach that uses music to reorganize an injured brain — Woyiwada would orchestrate an astonishing comeback.

You have to read the whole thing. Music therapy is a powerful, powerful thing.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “A Great Read: How Music Saved Allison Woyiwada’s Brain

  • September 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing that, Alan. Brain-Music research and anecdotes are fascinating.


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