July 31st, 2012
10:29 PM ET

Music heals shooting victim's brain

Less than two weeks have passed since 22-year old violist Petra Anderson was shot four times in theater 9, but she is on the road to recovery with the help of her doctors, family and the healing power of music.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained how music may be helping Petra recover. "If you think about trying to sing a song, for example, there are several different parts of your brain that are immediately harnessed," Gupta said. The tunes are often played by her boyfriend, who is a professional clarinet player. "In someone who is just learning to walk, if you find a song with a particular cadence to it, you can learn how to reestablish your rhythm," said Gupta.

Petra's recovery has been considered a "miracle," because the bullet that went through her brain was just millimeters from striking in a way that could have been more damaging and possibly deadly. "The bullet, if it had gone through a particular blood vessel in there, and there are several that are large, that would have been a catastrophic injury. If it would have been lower within the brain, it could have injured the brain stem," explained Gupta.

Incredibly, Petra is already walking and talking. She will continue to fight in the hopes of making a full recovery and playing her own music again soon.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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