CHARLOTTE, N.C. It is an incredible transformation that you have to see to believe.

Stephanie, 6, was miserable in the hospital before suddenly springing to life thanks to help from music therapist Lauren Sandlin.

She doesn't talk. Stephanie has Down Syndrome and complications with her heart. That means she s been in and out of the hospital her whole life.

It had been a rough morning for Stephanie when NewsChannel 36 visited the family at the hospital.

She was crying. She was tired. We tried to wake her up. She didn t want to wake up, said Stephanie s mother, Angie.

That changed, though, when music therapist Lauren Sandlin walked in the room. The soothing sounds of the guitar and Lauren's voice took over.

Stephanie even chimed in.

She starts just kind of coming around, beating the drum. She uses the shaker. She'll rock back and forth to the beat, Angie added.

Her vitals, her heart and breathing are better, too, doctors say.

Sandlin has a simple explanation.

Music speaks where words can t, she said. Those moments are what really charge me up and refill my battery, so to speak. It s what I work for and what I live for.

This story was created as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts scene.

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