Sometimes, the magic of a song can provide comfort in life’s darkest moments.
It was a song that gave comfort to Danielle Gibson and her family at the bedside of Danielle’s dying husband on Jan. 30, 2019. The heartbroken mother of four held her husband’s hand on the last day of his life as he succumbed to a short and devastating illness.
Tony Gibson, 33, had started experiencing memory loss in December of 2017. The family, from Lebanon, Tennessee, had to make huge allowances in the home for Tony’s confused condition: “I would have to label the rooms in our home,” Danielle explained. The family were at a loss, and the impact of Tony’s deteriorating memory upon daily life was increasingly hard to manage.
In May of 2018, doctors at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center were able to provide answers.
Their answers would send Tony’s family into shock.
Tony had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a severe, degenerative neurological disorder. Alarmingly, it’s the human form of mad cow disease. Tony had most likely contracted the disease by coming into contact with contaminated meat.
Most Creutzfeldt-Jakob sufferers die within 12 months because there is, tragically, no known cure.
Faced with a devastating prognosis and with little choice left but to be stoic and supportive, Tony’s family gathered their strength and showered Tony with love for what would turn out to be the last few months of his life.
Tony’s heartbroken wife even took special care of her husband when he was transferred to a hospice.
Danielle even summoned the strength to sing to him one last time, knowing how much Tony had loved listening to her sing one song in particular, “Amazing Grace.”
Tony looked towards his wife as she sang to him. The poignant lyrics filled the room: “Amazing grace, How Sweet the sound … I once was lost but now am found.”
The song was able to communicate a timeless sentiment between the married couple as they said their goodbyes.
Singing his favorite hymn has such a calming affect #AmazingGrace #CureCJD 💜💜💜
Posted by Danielle Gibson on Sunday, January 27, 2019
Danielle uploaded the touching video to Facebook, and her page was flooded with messages of love and support, as well as a number of heartfelt donations to the family’s GoFundMe campaign. Danielle is, of course, worried about financial support for her children into the future.
“[He] has no life insurance … It is difficult enough raising two sets of twin girls with barely any income,” Danielle admitted. “Any donation would be a blessing.”
Thankfully, Danielle’s community members have bombarded the loving mother with the gestures of support that she so desperately needs.
“Tony has always been so strong. He fought a damn good fight,” Danielle continued.
Tony’s difficult fight is thankfully over. And with amazing grace, Danielle, her family, and a plethora of loved ones will look after each other well into the future.
Are you affected by Danielle’s story? Do you believe in the healing power of song? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.