This Britney Spears hit helped a teen girl recover after brain surgery
Let’s be real: Britney Spears has created some seriously rad songs that have made us wanna dance, like, forever. Take “Toxic” for example. You just can’t listen to that song and NOT want to move your hips a little. But for 13-year-old Maegan Johnson from Phenix City, Alabama, that sentiment is truer than ever.
On June 3, Maegan took to Facebook to join in a video challenge called #justkeepdancing, started by Ellen for those suffering from pediatric cancer. . . and her story is mind-blowing. When Maegan was just seven years old, she suffered through a tragedy no one — let alone a child — should ever have to face: a brain aneurysm. She was flown to the Scottish Rite Childrens Hospital in Atlanta for an emergency surgery, and though her life was saved, she had a stroke during the 10-hour procedure. She was unable to speak for a whopping six weeks.
“The first week the doctors told my parents not to expect a good outcome,” she explained in the caption of her video. “During a procedure to see how bad the bleed was, I had a stroke and it affected my left side. . . I had to communicate on a dry erase board and became very depressed.”
Maegan explained that the combination of her stroke and her depression rendered her practically unresponsive. “I [didn’t] want to smile or communicate,” she continued. “Special visitors came to the hospital like cheerleaders, clowns, and dogs for therapy to cheer us up, but nothing worked.”
But then, in an amazing turn of events, the power of music — specifically, the power of Britney — changed everything. “. . . one day someone played one of my [CDs],” Maegan continued in the caption. “The first song did nothing, but the next song was Toxic by Britney Spears.”
Upon hearing Britney’s hit, Maegan lit up for the first time since her aneurysm. “I smiled [and] tried moving my hips and lifting my arm waving it back and forth in the air trying to dance,” she said. From then on, the doctors started using that song to aid Maegan’s recovery. “That song was incorporated in ALL Therapy Sessions [sic],” she continued.
Maegan hoped communicate her amazing story to Ellen Degeneres. . . and, by extension, to Britney Spears herself. “It has been our hope to get my story to Britney,” Maegan continued in the caption. “My parents said as an entertainer and mother, she would appreciate knowing the impact and role she played on my recovery.” For six years, Maegan and her family have been trying to contact Britney by e-mailing her, using social media, contacting radio stations — but to no avail. That’s why Maegan decided to post a vid of her strutting her stuff to “Toxic” — something doctors thought she would never be able to do.
“I just want to thank her and let her know how much I appreciate her and tell her my story,” Maegan concluded, hashtagging the post #justkeepdancing.
Maegan’s video has since been shared over 5,000 times, with various news outlets covering her super inspirational story. And now, about two months later, being the goddess she is, Britney has responded to Maegan’s post on her Facebook page. “Thank you for sharing your incredible story, Maegan! I’m so inspired by you and I’m touched my music helped you get through such a difficult time,” Britney wrote, posting Maegan’s video. “#JustKeepDancing, sweetie!! You are AMAZING!”
Maegan posted a screenshot of Britney’s post, writing, “Britney noticed it!” Yep, hearts warmed forever.
Keep on dancing, Maegan — you ARE truly amazing.