Ten years ago, Lura Dell Clark, a Texarkana resident, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She often had a hard time breathing without any exertion or reason to feel short of breath. A week after being diagnosed, she saw an advertisement in the paper for a new group, the CHRISTUS Harmonics, and she just new she was meant to be a part of it.
“I called them to ask ‘Can I come?’ and they said ‘Yes’ so I went and bought a harmonica for my husband and I,” said Lura. “My husband was a natural, but he wouldn’t come with me. I was not a natural but I felt so much better once I came and have been here ever since.”
CHRISTUS Harmonics is a Harmonica Therapy group that practices weekly to enhance breathing in Pulmonary patients. It is the only Harmonica Therapy program in the Ark-La-Tex. The group performs for outlying organizations, nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers, and health fairs.
Born and raised in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Lura found a love for music at an early age. She used to go in to the barn on her family’s farm where she could be alone, and would go up onto the hay mound to sing. Eventually, she was given the opportunity in school to learn the clarinet and she fell in love with the instrument. She played the clarinet for a total of twelve years, and it carried her all the way through college.
“My mom used to say I loved music but couldn’t carry a tune… I proved to her with the right instrument I can,” laughed Lura.
All these years later, Lura has found her love for music again through learning to play the harmonica, and has gotten some of her health back as well.
“I credit 90% of my progress to CHRISTUS Harmonics… the harmonica really can be a healing instrument,” she said. “What I like the best about it, is when I’m feeling bad, I can play the harmonica and jump up and do what I need to do. Thats what I love about it and I’m not going to quit.”
Lura encourages anyone who has the same or similar issues as she does to give the group a try.
“If you don’t like it, you can always quit, but if you just give it a try, you’re going to feel better,” Lura said. “I’ve experienced it and I know it works. I didn’t know where i’d be right now because I was pretty bad off, but I feel like I’m so much better now.”
For more information on the CHRIST’S Harmonics or on the Cardiac Pulmonary Rehab, please email Carol Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 903-614-4262.