87-year-old harpist plays for patients in hospice
87-year-old Luana Mangold has been volunteering, with strings attached, at Good Samaritan Society – Prescott Hospice and Marley House in Arizona for 12 years. Those strings are a part of the 39-pound Paraguayan folk harp she lugs into the building to peacefully strum for patients and families.
“Many times, there’s visiting families sitting there or patients,” Luana says about her weekly performances in the center’s common area.
Society staff open the doors of the 10-bed unit so Luana’s melodies can fill each of the patients’ rooms.
“When I’m through, I’ll ask the nurses there if there’s anyone in transition,” Luana says. “I have played for many, many souls that have passed.”
When a patient is near death, she’ll carry a smaller harp to their bedside and perform privately.
“You don’t come into this world alone and if you choose not to, why should you leave it alone when there are other people willing to sit with you?” Luana says.
National Ever Forward Volunteer Champion
Society administrator Linda Miller says Luana’s compassion has been felt by hundreds since Marley House, Prescott’s only not-for-profit hospice house, opened in 2011. The professional harpist will also visit homes of patients using in-home hospice through the Society.