Music is often called the universal language, and a moment of a Utah man playing his violin while battling COVID-19 is sending a message loud and clear. The patient, 70-year-old retired orchestra teacher Grover Wilhelmsen, was in his room at the ICU, attached to a ventilator, while he played the Tennessee Waltz.
Nurse Ciara Sase told Inside Edition she was moved beyond words.
“It was just so touching and such a beautiful thing to be a part of,” Sase said.
While a patient at Mckay-Dee Hospital, Wilhelmsen wrote a note to his nurse asking if he could play. "You know, I really want to play here at the hospital. What do you think about my wife bringing my violin?” it said.
His wife, Diana, told Inside Edition, “Because he was intubated he couldn't thank them vocally, this was the only way he could think of to thank them for what they were doing.”
“We were able to put together a little process that allowed his wife to bring in those instruments for him and allowed us to make sure that we kept it as safe and clean as possible,” Sase said.
Summoning all his strength, Wilhelmsen picked up his violin and started playing as the ICU doctors and nurses gathered outside his room.
“It brought tremendous joy to everyone to be able to see something as amazing as this. A patient who's critically ill, intubated and still able to successfully play an instrument. That’s incredible,” Sase said.
Wilhelmsen has since been moved to an acute care facility where he is being weaned off the ventilator. His wife hopes he’ll be home by Christmas.