Eldercare supporter heals a heart with guitar donation 

Music has always been a lifeline for a resident receiving palliative care at The Summit. He goes by the name Ghost, and he’s been playing guitar for 65 years, performing at Irish wakes with his mum and dad as early as age nine. Recently, Ghost’s powerchair accidentally crushed his beloved acoustic guitar, one of his few possessions. He was devastated.

His recreation therapist, Grant Birtwistle, reached out to Eldercare Foundation to see if we could help reconnect Ghost to the joy and healing power of music. This request was outside of the regular scope of our Resident-in-Need program and so we took to social media with a call-out for a guitar donation.

Within minutes we received an outpouring of generous offers. Retired music teacher Trent Ingram was the first to reach out. “When I saw the post on Facebook, I thought, the sooner you could replace a guitar, the sooner you could heal a heart.”

The next morning, Trent drove from Duncan to Long & McQuade on Hillside Avenue in Victoria to purchase a brand-new Epiphone acoustic guitar. He hand-delivered it to the Eldercare office and Eldercare staff then delivered it to Ghost.

As he unboxed the guitar, tears began to stream down his face. Ghost was floored. “I’m not usually at a loss for words,” he said. “But I’m speechless. This is the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me.” Ghost then delivered an impromptu bedside concert of original folk songs.

Trent and his wife, also a former music teacher, were touched to hear about the guitar delivery. “My wife and I are so happy the guitar brought him some joy,” he said. “I’d like to think if I were in the same shoes, someone would do the same for me. I know how much the connection to music matters. Music has not only provided me with a career; it has saved my life more than once.”