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Sonographer turns songwriter in journey to health

July 22, 2019 | Everyday Moments | Mental Health

Keah Jordan Taylor

Keah Jordan Taylor overcame debilitating panic attacks through singing--thanks to a little help from her friends.

Keah Jordan Taylor, RDMS, recently launched her music online. It’s not been an easy journey, but Keah says that it was her friends in the PeaceHealth community who helped her to achieve this dream.

Several years ago, Keah, a sonographer at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, began experiencing severe panic attacks. “It was completely debilitating,” says Keah.

When the attacks first began, Keah had no idea what was happening to her, but knew that she needed help immediately. She turned to Dr. Kirk Jacobson for help, and she leaned on her coworkers in the ultrasound department.

“I am eternally grateful for my genuinely kind and caring coworkers, especially my lead Doug McCraney, RDMS, who worked extra days so that I could take time to heal.”

Keah says that the support she received from her coworkers and medical providers at PeaceHealth were instrumental in helping her to understand that she just needed extra help and understanding. For Keah, this was by far the most humiliating and embarrassing time in her life.

“The interventional radiologists and all the caregivers in the Cath Lab never lost their faith in me, “says Keah. “The emergency room caregivers—Dr. Rebecca Palmer, Dr. Ann Cooley, Jenny Fisher, certified physician assistant, Angelica Calderon Folino, RN, Parker-Leigh Evans, RN, and Hanna McMartin, RN—were there to help me keep my chin up. They really helped me understand that what was happening wasn’t my fault and that I had nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.”

The patience and support Keah received from her PeaceHealth coworkers and caregivers allowed her to take the next step in her recovery—hiring voice teachers.

Keah felt that low self-confidence was at the root of her panic attacks, so each week, in addition to therapy sessions, Keah went to voice lessons. This first step led Keah on a new journey—one that helped her to heal and to find her voice.

“I had never sung in my life,” laughs Keah. “To my disbelief (and, also, I think to theirs), I found out that I could actually sing!”

Not only could Keah sing, she had a knack for writing songs and she eventually learned to play the piano.

“To sit down in front of a piano, and then just start playing with notes and chords... humming and singing gibberish…until one day, you actually have a real song! It’s so exciting and healing.“

Keah’s songs tell stories, and she hopes that others can relate to her stories on their own healing paths.

“It became a crazy, crazy dream…to actually get into a studio, and sing and produce these songs!” says Keah. “My family at PeaceHealth helped me understand that my songs were important and good.”

Keah says she’s learned so much through this experience about friendship and music, and she’s also become more aware about mental health issues.

“I never thought this could ever happen to me,” she says. “But it’s clear to me now that it could happen to anyone, no matter what social status or job you hold. I just want to say thank you so much to all of the healthcare workers out there that have compassion for mental health issues and for supporting others and their life experiences!”