Musician brings memories back for Trinity patients with memory loss

ROCK ISLAND-- A man is helping patients with memory loss at Unity Point Health Trinity remember through his guitar.

In any situation, even from a hospital room, Millie Meersman tries to remember the good. Just shy of 90, Millie spends her days at Unity Point Health Trinity in Rock Island. On bad days, her memory goes. But on this day, the good keeps coming.

On May 9, 2019, musician David Cohen enters Millie's room with his guitar. He takes a seat next to her and plays.

The chords and rifts that come from this instrument and this musician soothe and heal and help Millie remember the good.

"I used to play the guitar. But that was a long time ago," says Millie.

The music helps Cohen remember too. His memories though, are set to a different tone.

"I lost my wife to cancer, and I lived two years in the hospital with her," says Cohen.

On Christmas before his wife, Tanya, passed, Cohen remembers a choir coming into her hospital room, making music, making good memories.

"I saw the impact it had on my wife, and I felt the impact it had on me. So I started bringing in my guitar to play for her," says Cohen.

That's why he's here, turning the hospital hall into a concert hall.

"For just a few short minutes, it gives people a sense of normalcy in their lives," says Cohen.

He's bringing the good to people like Millie. Even if it's only for a moment, he's reminding her good still exists.

Cohen plays at all Trinity locations around the Quad Cities. He doesn't only play guitar. He also plays the bag pipes and the pipa, a Chinese lute.

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