Dr. Roger Cornwall’s bio on the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center says he is an internationally known surgeon, who has been educated at Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard Universities. It will also list numerous residencies and fellowships that he served in world-class facilities both nationally and internationally. It will go on to list a number of published medical articles and textbooks. But it will not be able to aptly describe his long-time passion to create music and his wish to use it to make an impact on the patients.
When Dr. Cornwall (um, that’s Roger to anyone who knows him) got wind of the work Hear The Hope was doing to bring physicians and their patients together, he went home and wrote a song. Yes, you heard that correctly. He just got up and wrote a song. (Salt on the wound moment: He hadn’t even picked up his guitar in twenty years, which had acquired some dust while he was busy reconstructing hands, wrists, and arms, raising his family, and climbing mountains).
Art Alights People’s Souls
Inspired by the idea to create something all his own, he went to work. And he knew just who he would ask to join him to record his song, his patient, Ed Leach. This just wasn’t any patient or any song though. The wrists that held the drumsticks that dropped the beats that give the song its soul were reconstructed (several times over, for complex injuries) by Roger himself. “I took every surgery very personally, knowing when I went in to operate that he needed his wrists, that he lived for his music. And the fact that we needed him and his music made it very personal, very real. My patients have never been ‘just patients.’ I always care deeply for every single one, but knowing that he needed to perform in the studio just a couple of months after the surgery, made me anxious. It connected us really,” Roger said. And that connection is what is keeping Roger going, he adds: “I hope that this is just the beginning. I think more doctors could benefit from seeing their patients performing, right alongside them. I know it’s given me hope. That’s what art does. It alights people’s souls; it creates connections. As a doctor, I want to see my patients have hope…there is healing, there is happiness, there is life. I hope this project can spread this love, kindness, and hope.”
It’s a great place for Roger to live out his passion, where the patients and their stories are the main focus. Helping raise money for the Charitable Care Fund at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is icing on the cake!
The Hear the Hope project is a classic case of serendipity for both the HTH team and the talents of Roger and his musicians. We feel blessed that Roger and our project found each other when we did. Erin’s beautiful voice and talented piano skills were a joy to work with during the recording and mixing. After reading about Ed’s story, we discovered his drumming is a great partner to the lyrics and a necessary part of the performance on many levels.
Ed’s father (Jim) was invited to play bass. In addition to being a very good musician in his own right, his presence gives the piece an extra layer of depth as well. The four of them together are more than a band; they are a community. But after we worked with Roger, we found this as no surprise. It is what he is all about. His love of his family, his patients, and his music have helped make him the happy man he is today, and he can’t wait to share this love, happiness, and hope with others.
“Finally Found” is a great kick off for the entire project and we hope you enjoy!
In addition to writing music again and picking up the guitar last year, in his “down time” Roger also wrote a book titled The Door is Not Locked: Finding Happiness in the Real World to help others seek happiness, find their joy, and use their talents to improve not only their own lives but the lives of everyone they encounter.
Ed Leach is part of the band, Armchair Psychosis. They just released a live digital recording from their recent performance at the Thompson House in Newport, KY. Click on the link above to learn more about Ed’s band and to hear the music they’ve created.
- FEATURED SONG: “Finally Found”
- OUR HERO: Ed Leach
- ARTIST(S): Roger Cornwall
- COMPOSER: Roger Cornwall
- LYRICS: Roger Cornwall
- VOCALS: Erin Fitzhugh
- INSTRUMENTS: Roger Cornwall (acoustic guitar), Erin Fitzhugh (piano), Jim Leach (bass), Ed Leach (drums), CJ Lambert (electric guitar).
- PRODUCED BY: CJ Lambert
- ENGINEERED BY: Toby Christensen & CJ Lambert
- EDITED, MIXED & MASTERED BY: CJ Lambert