Singer Jack Johnson grants boy’s Christmas wish


Singer Jack Johnson grants boy’s Christmas wish

By John Zaremba
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surf-folk singer Jack Johnson brought some Southern California sunshine into the lives of a 6-year-old Children’s Hospital Boston patient and his family yesterday, fulfilling the boy’s foremost Christmas wish by giving him a private webcast concert and calling him “a very brave boy” for battling a rare heart defect.

Speaking via Skype from Santa Barbara, Calif., Johnson, a father of three young children, treated Ethan Lindberg, his family and his caretakers to a casual chat, a laid-back, strummy version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and a selection of other similarly soothing songs.

“Ever since he was a baby — he’s had six heart surgeries, and the first was when he was five days old — he’s just always been drawn to it,” his mother, Jessica Lindberg, said of her son’s love for music — particularly Johnson’s beach-bum brand. “Music has been that thing for him, to draw him out of fear.”

Ethan was diagnosed before birth with aortic stenosis and evolving Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect.

His parents moved from western Illinois to Boston to seek treatment at Children’s, and the family, which recently celebrated the arrival of a third son, was featured by Herald columnist Jessica Heslam earlier this week.

The family had mentioned that Ethan wanted to meet Johnson, a multi-platinum singer-songwriter whose kid-friendly vibe and work on the “Curious George” soundtrack has made him a huge hit with children. One of the singer-surfer’s relatives spotted the story, leading to yesterday’s web jam…

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