Health & Wellness

Rapping medic teaches injured kids to take care of their casts, cracks up TODAY 

When it comes to teached injured kids proper cast maintenance, a rapping Army medic tells them all they need to know in just a few rhymes. 

Army Staff Sgt. Shareef Stokely, based in Fort Drum, N.Y., has come up with what he has dubbed the "Cast Rules Jingle" in which he raps about making sure the cast doesn't get dirty or cause infection. Like any good rapper, he broke out his rhymes right on the spot by request in a Skype interview on TODAY's Take Thursday, reminding those with casts, "Don't hate, just elevate." 

A video of Stokely performing the rap to 8-year-old Jayden Bennett, who broke her right foot at a playground near her home on Monday, has already gotten more than 400,000 views on YouTube. Bennett's mother, Jessica, filmed the rap on her iPhone and posted it online.  

"The medic was AMAZING,'' Jessica Bennett told TODAY in an email. "He was actually singing some Disney tunes before he even started putting the cast on her just to make her feel more comfortable." 

"It's a whole team effort,'' Stokely said. "Me and my crew, we put it together pretty well." 

"What kid wouldn't want to go to that doctor?" said Willie Geist Thursday. "I'd break a leg just to go see him. He's the best."

A 20-year military veteran who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Stokely came up with the idea when a friend and fellow medic gave him detailed cast maintenance instructions. 

"When he gave his instructions, he just rattled off a bunch of things, so I looked at him, and I said, 'OK, I got something I can do,''' Stokely said. "So I took leave, and the time that it took for me to fly from Hawaii back to New York, I wrote the rhyme, and it took me another week to get the courage to sing in front of people." 

Now that he's comfortable performing, there may be some "Cast Rules Jingle" remixes on the way for future patients. 

"I change the words around,'' Stokely said before laughing. "I'm right now in the process of making another one, but I'm having a hard time remembering."