They say that the best thing a father can give to his son is to believe in his abilities. The old adage speaks a lot of truth in the case of Patrick Henry Hughes of Louisville Kentucky. Thanks to the never-ending support of his father, Patrick is able to nourish his talent and chase after his dreams despite all of the set backs life has given him.
Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes, in addition, due to the condition of his legs, he cannot walk. With these seemingly unfortunate condition, Patrick is the last person you will have in your mind if we talk about success.
Fortunately, with the unwavering love and support of his father, Patrick is able to nourish his talent and chase after his dreams, becoming the living embodiment of success.
Patrick John Hughes, Patrick Henry’s ever supportive and dedicated father, was the one who noticed his son’s inclination and talent for musical instruments. He recalled that he would often play a few notes at the piano to soothe and calm the then 4 month old Patrick Henry. “He got quiet at the piano” Patrick John said.
At a young age of 9 months Patrick Henry’s talent for music is undeniable. At such a young age he can already play back the notes played by his father. And when he turned 2 years old, he was already playing musical piece on the piano such as “You Are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
Ever since Patrick Henry was born, Patrick John already instilled in his mind that he wouldn’t be able to play sports with his son. But that’s okay, since he will be able to play music with him.
True to his words, Patrick John made sacrifices to be able to play music together with his son and to support his needs. The dedicated father worked on a graveyard shift, from 11 in the evening to 5 in the morning, at the United Parcel Service in Louisville. He did so he will be able to attend classes with Patrick Henry at the University of Louisville.
Upon enrollment Patrick Henry expressed his interest to play in the school’s pep band during basketballs. However, only members of the school’s marching ban is allowed to play in the pep band. Fortunately, the band director, Greg Byrne, encouraged Patrick Henry, who was a freshman the, to join the marching band.
“My dad and I hear this and we’re like, ‘uh, right’. I mean, how in the heck am I supposed to march?” Patrick Henry recalls with a laugh in one of his interviews.
“I never had any doubt Patrick could do it. The only question was whether I could do my part.” Patrick John said.
Giving all they have. The father and son exerted great effort in practicing together with the marching band. Patrick John learned each routine needed in the marching band’s performance.
Without complaints, the dedicated father pushed his son’s wheelchair around and across the field. He jogged, spin, and maneuvered his son’s wheelchair while Patrick Henry played the trumpet with all of his might.
“Don’t tell us we can’t do something,” Patrick John said in an interview. “I’ve told him before. He’s my hero.” The dedicated father reiterated as he looked at his son with such admiration.
True to the elder Hughes words, there seems to be nothing that Patrick Henry cannot do with the unwavering love and support of his father and his family.
In year 2006, Patrick Henry Hughes became the first ever non football player to be awarded with the prestigious Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Spirit Award. A book aiming to inspire countless people with his compelling life story was published in 2008. And in 2010, he was able to graduate with a high honor – Magna Cum Laude!
Today, the musical prodigy travels around the world to perform his music and to share his inspiring life story to countless number of people. His book, I Am Potential, was translated into a film and was released in cinemas last 2015.
“I mean, God made me blind and didn’t give me the ability to walk. I mean, big deal.” Patrick Henry said, smiling. “He gave me the talent to play piano and trumpet and all that good stuff.”
Though Patrick Henry was born with a disability, God has blessed him with greater things. A family who never gets tired of believing and supporting him in his journey of chasing after his dreams. And a father who has always been his number one fan even before his fingers learn to touch the piano.
Watch the video and prepare your heart to be touched and inspired by the story of Patrick Henry Hughes, whose father’s love, dedication, and unwavering support pushed him to achieve more than anyone could have imagined!
Photo Credit: Patrick Henry Hughes