Valley resident Sharon Thiel visited the VA hospital in Phoenix to donate a few items from her Darrel Vik Music Library project, designed toward assisting veterans through musical stimulation.

The project, named after her late husband, is made up of a three-door cabinet. Inside there’s a portable boom box, a letter from Thiel, explaining what the Darrel Vik Music Library is and different CDs patients can play during their stay.

The musical selection is geared toward instrumental pieces and other genres of music that patients in the hospital can relate to.

The cabinets have wheels, which allow them to be moved from room to room, and Thiel encourages patients to build their own music library to be added.

Thiel began the project when her late husband, Darrel Vik, was in the VA hospital, Fargo, N.D., where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for three weeks suffering from a lung infection.

“He was on a respirator for three weeks,” she said.

During his stay, Thiel learned that patients in the ICU unit were not equipped with any type of stimulation.

Her son, Daniel, began bringing music to be played during his father’s stay and both family and staff began noticing positive results.

“We initially brought our own music therapy to stimulate him and learned the positive affects both upon him and other patients,” Thiel said. “From this lesson we promoted the idea to the VA hospital ICU staff and hospital personal. They had never heard or thought of this and were very excited to have therapeutic method readily available.”

The staff began making comments about the positive change in the environment, Thiel said.

“The project has been introduced to other VA hospitals to be used at their discretion for the stimulation of their patients,” she said. “We as a family are eager to bring this music therapy to VA hospitals across the country.”

For now, Thiel continues to visit different VA hospitals across the United States to spread the word about the Darrel Vik Music Library, and will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the project at the end of April.

“As long as I got money on hand I will continue.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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