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Holland’s Opus? North Texas Woman says Music Saved her Life

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AZLE -- Sometimes, hope comes when you least expect it.  For Rae Holland, that hope came from music, in a non-traditional way.

"I call it a 'God way,'" Holland said with a smile.

Her story began simply enough.

"Just working a normal job, for the police department in North Richland Hills, doing my thing, living life," said Holland. "Started having grand mal seizures."

Rae's seizures would last up to 45 minutes, they happened more and more often, and the cause was unknown.

"It was dire," she recalled. "'Get your affairs in order' type thing.  Depression set in. Life took a turn for me and I didn't recognize why."

That's when, out of the blue, Rae asked her husband to buy her a guitar.  Playing the guitar - even when she didn't know how - calmed her down, and she kept doing it.

"I found that the more I was involved in music," said Holland, "The less my seizures were intense."

Now, after years of practicing, and a sinus surgery to help stop the seizures at their source, Rae's a singer/songwriter, playing shows all over the DFW.

She's also active in Texas Health's "Strength in Music" program, which aims to help more patients, using the power of music.

"It can lower blood pressure," said program director Casey Williams. "It can help reduce stress and anxiety, it can help improve lung function, it can help improve cognitive function."

"And when you see these ladies in here, banging their drums and making noise, they walk out of here smiling," said Holland. "Music is such a healer for everybody, and what Casey and these people are doing here is so important."

Yeah, and if anyone knows the importance of music, it's Ms. Rae Holland.