Johns Hopkins’ Singing Princess Nurse Brings Joy to Hospital Rooms

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Photo by Will Kirk

Sick kids need medicine, sure — but sometimes they also need a little magic. And that’s exactly where Johns Hopkins nursing student Mary Jo Holuba comes in. The classically trained soprano has been visiting children’s hospitals for years, singing Disney songs and bringing a little joy and comfort to kids in frightening or scary situations.

Holuba, who has been performing for patients in some capacity since she was a teenager, performs for large gatherings as well as one-on-one settings. “Sometimes parents will ask that I sing lullabies at the bedside while a patient is trying to fall asleep,” Holuba told the Johns Hopkins Gazette. “The music and fantasy brings comfort to not only the patient but often their families as well.”

Holuba’s work is part of a new brand of nursing that takes pains to treat the whole patient, and not just the disease. And after grappling with her own father’s terminal illness, Holuba viscerally understands just how much a small moment of joy can mean. Check out Holuba’s Christmas CD here.

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