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To learn how magic helps kids heal, we asked a patient.
posted on 12.05.13
Melissa Bruebach and Emily Stec at OHM's 7th Annual Tricks are for Kids Benefit
A patient’s perspective on Open Heart Magic: An interview with Melissa Bruebach, a recipient of Bedside Magic at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Q: I understand you’ve had firsthand experience with Open Heart Magic.
Yes. When I was a patient at Lurie Children’s Hospital, I had several visits from the Hospital Magicians.
Q: Most people don’t know what it’s like to be a kid in the hospital. Can you share your experience?
Well, I started having surgeries as an infant…and pretty much grew up in the hospital. Unless you’re a kid or a parent with a kid who’s gone through this, you don’t realize how scary and stressful it can be. Children with medical conditions experience things – and miss out on things – that make them grow up too fast…
How a courageous 8-year-old named Ryan learned the secrets of OHM
posted on 09.26.13
Several of our Open Heart Magic magicians have had the pleasure of working with an incredible young boy named Ryan over the past few months. He isn’t just a patient at Lurie Children’s Hospital, though. Ryan is a magician, and he’s one of the finest we’ve seen. Here’s how he came to discover the secrets of OHM:
Every once and a while I have to stay at Lurie’s hospital. One lucky Tuesday night that I was in the hospital a very special magician came to my room. He showed me, my mom and dad a couple tricks and we were WOWed! I learned Eye of the Mummy and took the secret oath and then I was able to WOW people.
She was a Different Child
posted on 03.12.10
There was a seven-year-old girl in the ER of Rush University Medical Center who had sustained a hand laceration and was crying inconsolably. The Nursing and Child Life staffs could not even get her to make eye contact so the Child Life Specialist brought in the Open Heart Magic Hospital Magician. The Hospital Magician enlisted the girl to help him make a red silk scarf disappear. “After the magic, she was like a different child,” recalled the Child Life Specialist. “She was calm and in control, practicing the trick the Hospital Magician had taught her and trying it out on the doctors. It was nothing less than amazing. And it was the magic that did it.”
The Feeling of Magic
posted on 03.10.10
An Open Heart Magic Hospital Magician was able to utilize magic that involved feel to work with a teenaged boy who could not see. The Hospital Magician used sponge balls that appeared, transferred and multiplied in the teen’s hands as the boy’s mother described the actions through narration and confirmation. The tricks proceeded with the mother telling the teen patient exactly what she saw and with the patient counting out what he felt in his hands. Laughter, positive energy and a very special and memorable situation unfolded. These advanced patient adaptation methods and best practices are taught in OHM introductory and on-going training sessions.
Thanks for Making Miracles
posted on 03.07.10
“I wanted to thank you with all my heart! Recently I spent several weeks at Rush University’s Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) a disease of the nervous system that causes severe, constant pain and disability. I’ve been in and out of hospitals since my diagnosis when I was 12. I am now 17, and still struggle with it.
Rush specializes in treating this rare disease. I didn’t know anything about the hospital except that it was the “best” for me. I soon found out that it was the “best” in more than one way. My dad and I were introduced to the first magician on our first Tuesday night at Rush. I was pretty out of it, but my dad found a spectacular escape from his stressful day when she came in. It was probably his favorite distraction he experienced at any hospital. We had been visited by animals and athletes, but I soon agreed — Open Heart has become my favorite visitor! When I woke up, my dad raved about how fun it was to see this stranger. We were excited to hear they would be back on Thursday too! We couldn’t wait! I was excited to see what they could bring to my awful and challenging day. Thursday came and two guys came into my room with smiles on their faces and fun in their pocket. For the next few minutes, they showed me tricks that dazzled my imagination and made me laugh.
I wanted to write to thank everyone associated with this cause. The hours you spend working with this organization are significant to the hundreds of families you serve weekly at Rush. Please continue your work — we can’t wait to see Open Heart Magic on the schedule here in Michigan or Ohio! Thanks to all the hardworking magicians. Thanks for the entertainment and being in the spotlight! I think I speak for all of the families you share your joy with when I say that you’ve truly impacted our lives. It is a night looked forward to with lots of anticipation by everyone in the hospital. I’m sure the Tuesday/Thursday night nurses have seen the tricks again and again, but each time they share our excitement when WE can perform a “miracle”! Thanks for making miracles in hospitals all over Chicago. Please let us know when you are here in Michigan! Thanks for EVERYTHING you have done to help me and my family.”