Two strangers form a sisterhood after a Beavercreek pianist offers hope in a difficult moment

DAYTON — Two Ohio women feel as if destiny brought them together when one of them needed hope most.

Christina Ballenger, of Pickerington, was scared to get her COVID-19 vaccine after having an allergic reaction in the past, reported our news partners at WBNS-TV.

“Tongue swollen - could not speak, stomach cramping, rash, redness, hives,” Ballenger said. “[I] just know that I never want to have that feeling again.”

Even after signing up to get her vaccine and getting the recommendation from her doctor, Ballenger could not help but be overwhelmed with nerves.

Little did she know, a woman in Beavercreek, would be the hope she needed and the strength that would carry her through a difficult moment.

Angie Morlan, of Beavercreek, was inspired by a video of cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing at a vaccine clinic in Massachusetts. After viewing the video, Morlan sought out a way to offer similar support to people in her own community.

“At the most stressful moments in my life, I’ve always gone to my piano,” Morlan said. “I thought, ‘If I can do this for people, I’m going to go do it.’”

Ballenger saw a post in “Ohio Vaccine Hunters,” a Facebook group where she learned Morlan was playing the piano as people get their shots at the Dayton Convention Center.

She messaged Morlan ahead of her appointment and was surprised when she responded asking what song Ballenger wanted her to play.

“I don’t even know what made You’ll Never Walk Alone pop into my head. My dad has been gone since 2017 and he used to sing [to me] and the words are so powerful.”

Ballenger never expected Morlan to show up to her appointment, but she did and played the song that reminded Ballenger of her father the whole way through, WBNS-TV reported.

“As she was playing, I could hear my dad’s voice. It was overwhelming,” Ballenger said. “To know that a perfect stranger was willing to use her God-given gift to support me . . . it was one of those ‘God-wink’ moments.”

Ballenger and Morlan said they got more than shots at the Dayton Convention Center, they formed a sisterhood.

“It gave me hope not just about the health pandemic, but just about the world in general,” Ballenger said.

“For those who are scared, I hope this just gives them a little bit of peace of mind and hope,” Morlan said.