A 2-year-old boy with a mystery life-threatening illness has recovered – thanks, in no small part, to Justin Bieber.
Theo, a toddler from New York, started suffering unexplained seizures a year ago, and the medicine he was given to try to control them left him so lethargic, his parents couldn’t get him to eat.
Then, as his mum Kera writes in a powerful New Yorker article, his nanny hit on the answer: Theo would eat when she played Justin Bieber’s Baby on his parents’ iPad.
Kera says she’d never been a Belieber herself but “the song became Theo’s life raft”.
“The track was playing so frequently, it became like white noise,” she says. “I’d sworn that Bieber would never be allowed in our household but desperate times call for desperate measures!”
In fact, Baby became such an instant ‘medicine’ for Theo, even the medical staff in the hospital – where he was having a whole series of tests to try to pinpoint what was wrong with him – began to sing the record-breaking hit to soothe him when he became agitated.
“Suddenly, the doctor started singing the Bieber song,” says Kera, “and soon the nurses joined in. Theo stopped crying, his long eyelashes blinking through tears to watch the group of women harmonise in an attempt to soothe him. ‘They know this song?’ he was clearly thinking.”
Eventually, doctors diagnosed Theo with hyperinsulinism and his health has gradually improved.
Justin Bieber himself was so touched by Theo’s mum’s story, he shared the essay on Facebook, simply captioned ‘Music heals’.
Photo (top, right): Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine