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After being paralyzed, the piano playing continues

The 43-year old piano teacher and church organist went to get her special surgery in Cleveland has been at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare for rehab.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Tricia Oporto, a wife and mother of twin girls from Bristol found out the diagnosis in April, doctors found a tumor on her brain.

The 43-year old piano teacher and church organist went to get her special surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and has been at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford for her intense rehab for the past six weeks. 

Oporto is making strides, while she has partial paralysis on her left side, she has been involved, appropriately enough, in Gaylord’s Music Therapy program, spending numerous sessions a week on a donated keyboard.

“My number one goal at Gaylord was just to be able to play again,” Oporto said.

 Teamed with music therapist Heather Wagner for a recent morning session, Oporto played and sang while Wagner joined in with her guitar. 

Oporto said, “I don’t know who I would be without being able to play the piano, this is my identity.” 

Wagner added the music therapy is making a difference. “What’s wonderful is that it is not only helping her physical rehab and her ability to use her arms but she’s also working on her social and emotional wellness as well,” said Wagner. 

While Oporto still has trouble walking, there are signs of improvement each day, and the likelihood she will return home and back playing at her church in the months ahead.

“I told them I’m coming back,” Oporto said, “that’s definitely my next step!”

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