When Patrick Hughes was born in Louisville, Kentucky, his parents knew that his life was going to be different than what they expected.
He was born both blind and handicapped, and they knew that mean that there were going to be significant obstacles in the way. However, they never lost hope and supported their son the best they could.
Sometimes, they worried that Patrick would never lead a normal life. But then, they found out that he had a talent that they could never have foreseen.
At just a few months old, Patrick surprised his parents.
When he was very young, he was given prosthetic eyes, and he was in a wheelchair to help him move around. This meant that he could not participate in many of the common activities young children enjoy. But when his dad introduced him to the family piano, everything changed. The first time he touched it, he shocked his parents and everyone else who knew him.
Patrick’s mom, Patricia, said, “You could go up and hit a note, no matter where it was on the piano, and within one or two tries he would find that exact note.”
They were shocked by their young son’s abilities but thrilled to find something that he was naturally talented at. This proclivity to music made them proud and gave them hope for his future. They then knew that their son was going to achieve a lot.
It didn’t take Patrick’s family long to realize that he was a musical prodigy.
He learned how to play the instrument incredibly quickly, learning many songs that even adults struggle with. When he was only 2 years old, he was already talented enough to take requests when he sat down in front of a piano. He played songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “You Are My Sunshine” to the delight of all who heard him. While some kids may be able to start picking up an instrument around age 2, Patrick was already proficient at the piano.
Patrick’s father, Patrick John, was absolutely thrilled. More than anything, he was just glad that he had found something that he could use to bond with his son. He said, “We’re not going to play baseball, but we’re going to play music together.”
But even his dad didn’t know just how close music would bring them. A few years later, he would get the lucky chance to find out.
Through the years, Patrick became better and better at playing the piano.
In fact, everyone in his school knew him for his abilities. Not only was he musically talented, but he was also very smart. When it came to his studies, he did very well – so much so that he was accepted into the University of Louisville.
When he got there, the marching band director heard about him and encouraged Patrick to join the marching band. However, Patrick was skeptical. “Right… I mean, how in the heck am I s’posed to march?” he asked. But his father saw a unique opportunity to bond with his son and bring them closer together.
His father decided that he could be Patrick’s legs.
So, while Patrick focuses on playing the trumpet, his father pushes him across the field in his wheelchair. And while some may see his father as a hero, Patrick John is truly amazed by his son.
He said, “He’s my hero. What he goes through; it’s taught me I don’t really have any complaints.”
Even though Patrick was born with some problems, he is overwhelmingly grateful for the gift of his musical abilities.
And because his story was all over the internet, he has received more opportunities that he even knew were possible. Both Patrick and his father are should be celebrated for their hard work, talent, and dedication.
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