A 2-year-old girl is learning to walk with help from a popular children’s song!
On Wednesday, ABC Action News profiled the story of Harper Comparin, a young girl who was born with severe spina bifida — a defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly.
Per Good Morning America on Thursday, her family received the diagnosis when mom, Erica Comparin, was 18 weeks pregnant. In fact, doctors told the Comparins that Harper would likely be paralyzed from the stomach down.
Because of the little one’s condition, Harper has difficulty walking, and has limited mobility. Due to her surgeries and countless hospital visits, she has become guarded, cautious, and scared.
Mom Erica told GMA:
“I felt like my child was taken from me… The way our specialist described it was very devastating. It felt like I had lost a child.”
However, Dr. Michelle Schultz — who assists Harper’s pediatric rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida — had a plan.
She told ABC Action News:
“That was a big barrier we really had to cross at first, to regain her trust.”
To help the tot walk, the doctor sings to her the melody and lyrics of Baby Shark, a tune popularized by a video produced by Pinkfong — an education brand within South Korean media startup SmartStudy.
Because of the track’s catchy “doo doo doos,” the video has over 2.6 billion views on YouTube.
Dr. Schultz explained to ABC Action News:
“I like the tune of that song… I use it like a metronome. I want her to walk to that beat. Doo doo doo! Pick up her speed, walk faster.”
Erica told GMA:
“We wanted therapists who were equipped to care for children… Two-year-olds are very easily distracted, so children’s therapists have to come up with creative and innovative ways to keep them interested and enjoying the work that they’re doing.”
“Michelle knows Harper’s personality to a tee. They have such a beautiful relationship… Because Michelle knew that Harper loved Baby Shark she decided to try it out. Just seeing the joy in Harper’s eyes was amazing.”
The beat not only assists with Harper’s recovery, it — most importantly — makes her smile. Schultz told ABC Action News:
“It helped her regain her abilities.”
Nowadays, the girl loves to play catch and to horse around with her older brother, Kellen.
According to dad Fred Comparin via ABC Action News:
“When I first saw her taking 5,6,7 steps across the room, I was like ‘Are you serious?’… She’ll now just walk up to total strangers and just say, ‘Hi!’”
Schutz added to GMA:
“Harper is a fighter… Those things are things I can’t teach. I can’t teach motivation. I can’t teach willingness. I can’t teach empowerment and strength. That personality is something that’s already built inside of you.”
WATCH the touching clip (below):
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