How a Britney Spears Song Helped This Girl Recover From a Stroke
When Maegan Johnson was 7 years old, she had a ruptured brain aneurysm. She underwent a 10-hour brain surgery and couldn’t speak for six weeks afterwards, according to one of her Facebook posts.
During recovery, cheerleaders, dogs and even clowns came to lift her spirits, but nothing seemed to make Johnson happy — that is, until she heard one of Britney Spears’ Grammy-winning songs. After that day, Johnson incorporated Spears’ 2004 hit “Toxic” into all her therapy sessions.
Johnson, now 13, recovered from her stroke and surgery but is still living with health issues including chronic back pain, sciatic nerve problems and spasms in her back and leg, according her Facebook post. But she’s thankful for her current health and wanted to tell Spears the impact she had on her stroke recovery.
In May, Ellen DeGeneres started a movement called #JustKeepDancing to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Inspired by 6-year-old guest start Braylon Beam who has a dance party each Friday to get through his yearlong cancer treatments, DeGeneres called on people to submit their dancing videos using the hashtag #JustKeepDancing and to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Johnson submitted a video of her dancing to “Toxic” to EllenNation, hoping to get her story in front of the talk show host and Spears; she also posted it to Facebook on June 3, where it received more than 5,000 shares and more than 2 million views.
With the video, Johnson wrote:
Ellen please read this. I am 13 years old from Phenix City, Alabama. When I was 7 I had a ruptured brain aneurysm and was airlifted to Scottish Rite Childrens Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The first week the doctors told my parents not to expect a good outcome. During a procedure to see how bad the bleed was, I had a stroke and it affected my left side. I had a 10 hour brain surgery, afterwards I couldnt speak for 6 weeks. I had to communicate on a dry erase board and became very depressed. I didnt want to smile or communicate. Special visitors came to the hospital like cheerleaders, clowns and dogs for therapy to cheer us up, but nothing worked. Until…. one day someone played one of my cds. The first song did nothing, but the next song was Toxic by Britney Spears-I smiled, tried moving my hips and lifting my arm waving it back and forth in the air trying to dance. That song was incorporated in ALL Therapy Sessions. It has been our hope to get my story to Britney. My parents said as an entertainer and mother, she would appreciate knowing the impact and role she played on my recovery. We have been trying for 6 years through radio stations, emails and all social media, with no luck. Hopefully with your help, my wish will finally come true. I just want to thank her and let her know how much I appreciate her and tell her my story. Thank you!
On July 31, Johnson’s wish came true when Spears shared her video on Facebook. Spears wrote: “Thank you for sharing your incredible story, Maegan! I’m so inspired by you and I’m touched my music helped you get through such a difficult time.#JustKeepDancing, sweetie!! You are AMAZING!”
Check out the sweet video below: