In March 1988, Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes and crippled. He was officially diagnosed with bilateral anophthalmia with pterygium syndrome and congenital bilateral hip dysplasia.
His parents, Patrick John and Patricia Hughes, were devastated because their son’s future looked bleak; however, they quickly realized their son had endless possibilities. At only nine-months-old his father introduced Patrick to the piano and by his second birthday, he was playing requests. His father said, “I was just ecstatic, that you know– we’re not going to play baseball, but we are going to play music together.”
To correct his scoliosis, when Patrick was older he had two steel rods surgically attached to his spine and was given artificial eyes. In high school, he excelled as a musician, student and as a performer. He received straight ‘A’s’ and picked up the trumpet and singing.
In 2006, Patrick attended the University of Louisville and joined the marching band after the director suggested that his father push him in his wheelchair through the marching routines. Patrick’s fathers love for him is evident in his day to day life; he even works the graveyard shift for UPS so that he can join him in class and at band practice. At the university, he majored in Spanish and is fluent.
Now, Patrick has performed on stage at the Grand Ole Opry and with the Louisville Orchestra. He’s said his disability has given him more abilities and has authored a book with his father titled, “I am Potential.” Patrick’s father said, “He is my hero, what he goes through, it’s taught me I really don’t have any complaints. I guess a father couldn’t ask for any more than the relationship I have with Patrick.”
Patrick concluded, “God made me blind and unable to walk, big deal. He’s given me the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people.”
Learn more about Patrick’s amazing story in the video below: