When you’ve got a supportive family, there’s no limit to the heights you can reach.
Patrick Hughes of Louisville, Kentucky, was born blind and handicapped. His parents feared he would never live a life of accomplishment and success. But after an unexpected progression when Patrick was just a few months old, the little boy’s father Patrick John was determined to help his son discover his true potential.
At a young age, Patrick was confined to a wheelchair and fitted with prosthetic eyes, and his parents began to adjust their expectations for the life their son would be able to lead. But then, before he was even nine months old, the baby shocked everyone when dad introduced him to the family piano.
“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,” explained Patrick’s mom, Patricia.
Proving every cloud has a silver lining, Patrick was soon discovered to be a musical prodigy. By the age of two, he could take requests at the piano, tapping out “You Are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with his tiny toddler fingers.
“I was ecstatic,” Patrick John said.”We’re not going to play baseball, but we’re going to play music together.”
As Patrick grew older, his talents blossomed even further, and he became a bit of a local celebrity in his school. He was an excellent student, and after graduation, he was accepted into the University of Louisville. As he settled into academic life, the marching band director pulled Patrick aside one day and suggested that he join the marching band.
“Right… I mean, how in the heck am I s’possed to march?” Patrick said with a laugh. But his father wasn’t so skeptical. Unwilling to let his son miss out on any potential achievements, Patrick John came up with a plan to be his son’s legs in the marching band.
Joining the 214 other members of the Cardinal Marching Band, Patrick plays the trumpet while his father dutifully pushes him through the vigorous and sometimes complicated routines.
Patrick John is incredibly devoted to helping his son accomplish every goal he faces in life. He never misses a practice or a game, even though he has to work the overnight shift at UPS in order to be there for his son every day. Each night, Patrick John goes to work at 11 p.m. and returns at 6 a.m. After a few hours of sleep, he’s back up and ready to help his son get through his day.
Yet for Patrick John, it’s his son who impresses him more with each passing day. “He’s my hero. What he goes through; it’s taught me I don’t really have any complaints,” said the devoted dad.
“God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal,” said Patrick. “He gave me the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people.”
Thanks to media coverage of Patrick and his dad, the family has enjoyed participating in a few television shows like “Extreme Makeover, Home Edition,” and “Family Feud.” More importantly, Patrick’s musical career continues to flourish. He has now performed twice at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville!
When asked about his disabilities, Patrick is quick to correct you: “Not disabilities at all; more abilities.” Thanks to the support of his family, particularly his selfless, hardworking father, Patrick’s future is as bright as anyone’s could possibly be!
It seems it’s true that when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.
Watch Patrick and his dad in action in the video below, and be sure to sharePatrick’s wonderful outlook and perspective with someone you love.