‘I get a smile out of them, I like to think it’s all part of the rehabilitation process’
(Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
A Preston doctor has been praised for playing song requests on his guitar to put a smile on his patients faces.
Critical care consultant, Tom Owen, decided to start taking his guitar to work at Royal Preston Hospital three years ago. He says his efforts get a smile out of his patients.
Tom, an anaesthetist from Kendal, Cumbria, said: “I get a smile out of them, I like to think it’s all part of the rehabilitation process. If I could give up medicine and go round the country playing for patients, I would do it at the drop of a hat.
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“I ask what songs they like. One patient asked for Streets of London by Ralph McTell, so I went off and learnt it.”
Speaking about the reactions he gets, Tom – who plays in a band when not on duty – said: “Some people’s families have been left in tears. You can tell how much it means.”
Liam Sutcliffe is just one of dozens of seriously ill patients the 50-year-old has impressed. The 35-year-old says hearing Oasis tunes perked him up after several weeks fighting sepsis, strep and pneumonia following a bout of flu at Christmas.
At one point it was touch and go, and he had a tracheotomy so he could breathe. But when he came round from a three-week coma, Tom lifted his spirits, the Mirror reports.
Liam, an undertaker from Longridge, said: “When someone plays you music, for that short period you think you’re not in hospital. It perks you up because you go from feeling down and bored to feeling like you’re down the pub.”
Liam is now back at home with partner Abby Brown, who is expecting their second child. Recalling how Tom sang Wonderwall for them, Abby, 33, said: “We were in tears as Liam couldn’t talk. It was massive, because of the songs Liam picked. The words reflected what we were going through. It was the highlight of the week, having Tom singing.”
- 08:01, 1 MAR 2023