Elise’s Legacy Library: Helping patients improve mental wellness

Elise’s Legacy Library: Helping patients improve mental wellness

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Photo courtesy of Amber DeFord (Elise's mother)

Our music therapy and palliative care teams work to create a positive experience for patients and their families, knowing children need more than medicine to feel better. When patient, Elise, came to our hospital for care, she expressed deep interest in using every aspect of care provided at Texas Children’s to keep her mentally strong, reduce her pain and help her relax. 

One day, as one care team left her room and the other entered, Elise said, “You guys should work together and record something I can take home when I leave.” After receiving her first recordings her therapists focused on her favorite place – Colorado mountains – Elise enjoyed it so much she shared how it could benefit others as well. Recognizing her physical and emotional well-being were greatly enhanced with the help of this therapy, Elise challenged the teams to find ways to make these resources accessible to other children.

With Elise’s inspiration, we created Elise’s Legacy Library (ELL), a free online tool for all to access via Texas Children’s YouTube channel. It provides seven different playlists – in English and Spanish.  It targets areas of practice which include guided imagery, music assisted relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation and sleep. 

We are so happy patients and their families benefit from the online resources. Additionally, we’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many amazing Texas Children’s teams for making this all possible. I know Elise would be proud of what we accomplished in her memory.  It was music therapy and palliative care that helped provide comfort and peace during her hospitalization at Texas Children’s including her final days in the pediatric intensive care unit. Her legacy to help others will live on.


Marial Biard, MM, MT-BC, NMT-F and Claire Crawford, MSW, PhD

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