Health Team

At UNC Rex, 'drum prophet' transports patients through song

Posted November 22, 2021 10:25 a.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2021 4:48 p.m. EST

— On Friday night, a special health care hero and his family got a holiday preview – an exclusive ride through WRAL Nights of Lights.

Eugene Taylor is not a nurse or not a doctor. They call him "drum prophet." His concert hall, site of daily performances, is UNC Rex Hospital.

Officially, Taylor's job is to transport patients. While they are on the move, he transports them into a songful, beautiful place.

Taylor says, "I have a word to speak to them, to inspire them, to also make them smile. I just look forward to work, to speak life into them."

For 15 years, he's serenaded patients, soothing them with song, lifting them up with his lyrics, some of them made up on the spot.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought great stress and sadness to every hospital.

"I've seen a lot of hurting in the halls," Taylor said. "What can I do? A lot of times, I don't have to sing, I don't have to whistle, I just speak a word."

On Friday, it was Taylor and his family – wife, Yolanda; 10-year-old daughter Chloe and 8-year-old daughter Sasha – getting transported, through the glow of WRAL Nights of Lights.

The drive-thru light show at Dorothea Dix Park is sponsored by WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting Company in partnership with the City of Raleigh.

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