I’m a sucker for inspirational stories. A friend of mine sent me the following video on Monday. This young man has been making his way nationally and internationally for the last fifteen years. I will admit I had not heard of him before getting this video. How I have missed all of his television appearances, I don’t know. I’m sure it will not be the last time he is recognized for his abilities. He is a phenomena following in the footsteps of Helen Keller and Steven Hawking.
Many parents would have taken one look at Patrick and given him away claiming they could not care for him either emotionally or physically. That was not the case with the Hughes family.
After an initial phase of disbelief and questioning, they settled down to optimize what he could do without concentrating on what he couldn’t do. His potential talent with music was recognized by the time he was nine months of age. By the age of two he was playing requests.
Patrick Henry Hughes was born in March, 1988. He will soon be celebrating his 23rd birthday. He has packed more life into those years than most people do in their entire lifetime.
In high school he was enrolled in the very strenuous International Baccalaureate program. He was in Who’s Who for all four years. In college, he maintained a 3.9 gpa. He has already written a book called I Am Potential; Eight Lessons in Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams. He majored in Spanish and speaks it fluently.
In addition to his great musical talents of playing the piano, trumpet, and singing, he is a motivational speaker and has traveled extensively giving motivational and keynote addresses. He has been on several TV shows including the Today Show, Oprah, and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
He is an example of the potential of all students who may be shelved in special education classrooms instead of mainstreamed. For the teacher, mainstreaming is very difficult, but for the student, it is a necessity. That is when teachers, students, parents, and the school administration must cooperate and dialogue for the sake of what is best for the child. Inclusion, not exclusion, must be the motto.
He and his family are another family which has been blessed to have their home modified by Extreme Makeovers. His home is now better able to accomodate his special needs. However, from what I have been able to discover about this young man, it seems he will be out in the world spreading his message more than he will be at home.
In the video he says, “God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal!” To some either one of those might have been enough for lesser spirits to give up. Not Patrick Henry Hughes. He is one more person I am adding to those who inspire me. If you have never heard of him, perhaps he will have the same effect on you. He says he listens to the music of opportunity. Would we all be that blessed to hear that music. Namaste. Attic Annie