Harmonica Healing: Instruments help young patients keep lungs clear

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MANCHESTER - Sometimes an everyday item can have an extraordinary purpose.

Tom Genovese of Suffield learned this last October when his grand-nephew, Jordyn Remmey, hurt himself. The 5-year-old child was making his way to the top of a bunk bed to awaken his big brother.

"He climbed up the ladder, lost his balance and got caught in the ladder. When he came down, he lacerated his spleen," said Genovese, noting Jordyn's intense pain and discomfort.

Genovese bought the Manchester boy an inexpensive present — a simple $8 harmonica — meant to entertain Jordyn during his five-night stay at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. Little did Genovese know his purchase would catch the eye of medical professionals.

"In pediatrics, we always find different ways to help promote breathing exercises with kids," says Cliff Gerich, manager of respiratory care at the medical center. "In the past, we've used bubbles. They're easy, they're cheap, they're accessible. We'd never thought about using a harmonica."

Click here for the entire column from the Hartford Courant.

Check out this link for more info about the Harmonica Clear Lung Project.