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Hand surgery musician plays piano to thank staff

11 May 2022

On Friday 29 April, we had the pleasure of welcoming former patient Naiole Missi to celebrate her extraordinary recovery.

On Friday 29 April, we had the pleasure of welcoming former patient Naiole Missi to celebrate her extraordinary recovery. 

Naiole, a 19-year-old aspiring singer-songwriter, played two wonderful compositions—one jazz and one classical. She also played and sang ‘Pure Imagination’, which she chose for its whimsical mood to contrast the sometimes-sterile hospital environment.

Patients and staff alike got to enjoy this moment, as she played in the entrance of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on the piano provided by our hospital charity CW+.  

Naiole marks eight months since her final treatment at the Trust after suffering hand injuries in a non-fatal car crash ten years ago. Without the specialist treatment she received from our Burns Unit, Plastics, and Hand surgical teams, this incredible recovery would not have been possible.

In 2012, an annual family road trip from Portugal to London had tragic consequences. The trip was going great until a horrific car accident in Poitiers, France, which resulted in Naiole and her sibling sustaining injuries. This caused debilitating pain, nerve damage, and burns that resulted in skin tightening. Despite the challenges, Naiole was determined to pursue her passion for playing piano and singing, and continued her treatment for several years, with great results. 

Naiole says: “The doctors always understood that because music is my whole world, my hands are the whole world for me, so the treatments were a necessity for me. They’ve always explained my options clearly, and given me choices and consequences. 

There’s an uplifting mood here, everyone’s very happy. I never once in my life thought, ‘my hand’s going to be in a terrible state and I won’t be able to do what I want with it’. The clinicians’ positive mood reflected on me, and kept me thinking that I could do whatever I wanted—even if it’s a bit different, or a bit different-looking! 

I wouldn’t want to change anything about my hand any more. My hand completely changed after the accident and after all the surgeries I’ve had—this is the best version of my hand that I can have, and I’m really happy with it. It was lovely to be able to perform for people again today.”

Naiole is looking forward to studying Commercial Music next year. 

Dr Maxim Horwitz, Consultant Hand and Orthopaedic Surgeon, says: “At our Trust, we pride ourselves on a collaborative approach to acute care, and Naiole’s recovery is owed not to one individual but to the expertise of all the teams involved in her care. This musical tribute brought a tear to many eyes today—a huge thank you to Naiole for showing us the true value of the work we do.”

Watch the video

Copyright disclaimer—Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust does not own the rights to the music in this video. All rights belong to the owners. No copyright infringement intended.