WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — A Utah man who was hospitalized with coronavirus complications shared his love of music from his hospital bed, and his tribute to frontline workers spread throughout the world.
The story of Grover Wilhelmsen’s resilience during his battle with COVID-19 has touched many people’s hearts and his former high school orchestra student said it was no surprise to see him playing the violin yet again.
“Tears filled my ears seeing him like that because I’ve known him since 2005,” Wilhelmsen’s former student Zach Archuleta said.
Archuleta, who grew up in Utah where Wilhelmsen taught music and still lives, now resides in West Hollywood.
He says Wilhelmsen was known as “the violin guy” in their hometown, and that he not only taught at the school, but at the community orchestra and eventually started his own chamber orchestra.
On top of that, since 1987 Wilhemsen has operated the Ogden-based Classical Strings LLC, which specializes in the restoration of instruments.
While hospitalized, frontline workers said Wilhelmsen couldn’t speak due to being intubated so he wrote a note asking for his violin, and used the lifelong talent to thank his medical care team.
“Growing up he put me in four different orchestras at a time. That was his life,” Archuleta said
Wilhelmsen plays the cello, violin, viola, guitar, bass, and piano and other instruments, which Archuleta said continues to inspire him musically.
“I really hope he gets out of the hospital soon because it’s hard to see him like that, but it’s good to see he is getting better.”
Last week, Wilhelmsen was transferred to a long-term care facility in Utah.