Pianist Jessica Tomlinson's volunteer work at hospital is eye opening

6:56 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Jessica Tomlinson plays on the piano at All Children's Hospital

 

St. Petersburg, Florida -- A hospital is typically not what you would call the most relaxing of places, especially to kids.

But for almost two years now, Jessica Tomlinson has been volunteering her time and musical talents playing the piano at All Children's to make the hospital a little more inviting.

"I hope that their spirit is lifted and I hope that they will go away with a smile," Tomlinson recently told 10 News about the people who hear her playing.

For two hours each Friday, Tomlinson entertains everyone coming through the hospital front lobby.

"It engages everybody and I see smiles, laughing," said hospital musical therapist Kelly Tyrrell. "I've seen kids dance, I've seen kids get up there and play with her, so it really does... it has a great impact on patients and on the staff that walk by."

But it is Jessica's story that really strikes a cord with people.

"I was born legally blind and the condition is called 'underdeveloped optic nerve,'" Tomlinson said.

So while Jessica's music may be inviting, it's her story that is inspirational.

"It's incredibly encouraging, because so many of the kids here have diseases that are supposed to limit them and she's not limited by anything," added Tyrrell.

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