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Trevor Sullivan

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Trevor Sullivan: Youth Ambassador, Heart Transplant Patient” Music therapy and playing guitar in the hospital were the tapestry that helped me while waiting for my new heart.” When Trevor Sullivan saw the Dick Wagner “Remember the Child” Memorial Fund’s social media posts, he saw rock stars coming together to help bring music to hospitalized children. He immediately reached out, eager to share his own heartfelt story. Speaking to Victoria Woody, the non-profit’s Director of Development, Trevor shared how music therapy at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, had indelibly impacted his life. As Trevor says, “Music therapy & playing guitar in the hospital were the tapestry that helped me while waiting for my new heart.” Here is Trevor’s story, with special gratitude and honor to his music therapist, Meredith…..

Read More As Trevor circled in and out of the hospital, a certified child life services specialist referred Trevor for music therapy. It was a life-changing moment for Trevor when a Board-Certified Music Therapist walked into his room with her guitar. As Trevor tells us, “We kinda just clicked. She started teaching me the guitar, and I started teaching her about the music I love.”

Trevor spent nine months waiting for his new heart and honing his guitar skills. As music therapy sessions progressed, Trevor and the music therapist began to perform together at a weekly music night in the hospital’s Skyline Café. The Café provided an atmosphere of bonding and relaxation, where patients, families, and staff could enjoy the fun and healing distractions of music. Trevor also became a recipient of the Heartbeat Songs recording program. The program seeks to memorialize the patient’s heartbeat, as it exists in that moment of time. Using a stethoscope and microphone, Trevor’s original heartbeat was recorded to one of his favorite songs, “Sleep,” by A Chemical Romance. The song was a lyrical reflection of his current state of mind.

Late one night in November 2016, Trevor got the fantastic news that a heart had been found for him! Within days, the transplant was performed. To commemorate his new heartbeat in song, Trevor suggested “House of Gold,” by Twenty-One Pilots. The upbeat choice of music reflected Trevor’s restored mind and body.

Five years after his heart transplant, Trevor remains healthy and passionate about music. He plays guitar, collects vinyl rock records, and loves to attend concerts and discover new music. Trevor’s mom tells us, “Music is what got Trevor through it. Music helped Trevor to express his medical journey, and it also helped the family in immeasurable ways.” Trevor is excited to “Shout to the mountain tops that music therapy is just as important as all the doctors, tests & procedures.”
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