They say music can heal all wounds. That may be so, but a very brave 11-year-old girl in Ohio recently proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that music can definitely heal a damaged brain. Zumyah Thorpe overcame a traumatic brain injury with the help of music; specifically, the music of Bruno Mars, according to People magazine on June 30.
A horrific car accident in 2013 took the lives of Zumyah’s mother and two younger sisters. Zumyah and another sister survived, but Zumyah had to battle a traumatic brain injury. It was tough for anyone and Zumyah is only 11. She couldn't say a lot, at first, but what she could do was sing Mars’ songs, word for word. Since she loved the music so much, nurses at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital played the music every night throughout Zumyah’s recovery.
I am absolutely convinced that singing those Bruno Mars songs and being able to say 'Bruno Mars' is in itself a miracle … knowing all the words to the songs has helped her recover," her doctor, Nancy Bass, a pediatric neurologist, told the station. "I asked her who her favorite singer was and she said 'Bruno Mars' as quick as anyone would say any singer, and she just started singing every single word."
Word got back to Mars, and he invited Zumyah to his recent concert in Cleveland. In a break from the concert, Mars played the video of Zumyah's story for everyone to see, in honor of Zumyah. But then he did something that put a huge smile on Zumyah’s face. He jumped off the stage, put his arms around her and serenaded her with his 2010 hit “Just The Way You Are”; Zumyah's favorite song.
After the performance, Mars said, “She can’t leave here empty-handed.” Looking around the stage, he took off his signature fedora and gave it to her, along with his guitar.
He dedicated the concert to Zumyah. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when the young girl sat down, including Mars. He even took a photo of the two of them on his Instagram account with the caption:
Zumyah tonight you gave my band and I something we've never felt before. You're an inspiration to the world! #WeLoveYouZumyah."