Behold, the power of the singing nurse

Here’s your daily dose of sweetness:

Brenda Buurstra, a nurse in Kalamazoo, Mich., says she sings to patients all the time; it’s just that the video that someone took of her the other day is the first time she “got caught.”

Roberta Lytle — that’s her dad in the bed — is the one who caught her on her camera.

“He has heart problems but because of his age, they can’t put a pacemaker in,” Lytle told a local TV station. “He had an episode at the house, and he couldn’t breathe. So they took him to Bronson Hospital. He was there about a week. We did not think he was coming home this time.”

He could barely talk in the shape he was in, Roberta said.

Nurse Brenda got him singing.

“We were watching a show on Pat Boone, and he told the nurse ‘I don’t like him, but I like a song that his daughter sings.’ And this lady just starts singing,” Lytle said of Buurstra. “And I’m just blown away. Because the woman’s got a voice.”

“He said, ‘My favorite song is “You Light Up My Life”.’ And I just started singing it,” Buurstra told the station.

She didn’t know all the words, so she promised to print out the lyrics and come back the next day to sing to some more. Sure enough, she did. “He was beaming,” Buurstra said. “Even through his little venting mask he was wearing, his eyes lit up. His whole countenance changed, and he had a big smile. You could tell that song lit him up. Literally ‘You Light Up My Life,’ that song really just lit him up. You could tell it touched his heart.”

Lytle took a video of her dad singing with the nurse and posted the heartwarming moment on YouTube. “If you listen to the video, you can hear him trying to sing at the very end. But it changed him. It was like he knew he was going to go home,” Lytle said.

He was in hospice at the time.

He’s now gone home.

She’s still singing.

“To make that awful hospital stay they’re going through just a little bit better, a little bit brighter,” Buurstra said. “I wanted to be on a team of positive people, and that’s what we have here at Bronson. I’m not the only nurse who goes above and beyond at Bronson. This is what we do every day.”

  • Guest

    It is the kindness missed that is regretted, not the kindness done.

  • Doug

    Thanks, Bob, I needed that.

  • AL287

    Music can do marvelous things for patients—-ease depression, pain, anxiety and a host of things we haven’t begun to discover.

    Thank you, Bob.

    I hope this inspires other vocally gifted nurses to do the same.