The inspirational story of Patrick and Patrick

Patrick Henry Hughes just celebrated his 31st birthday in March this year. He is a gifted musician. He sings, plays the piano and trumpet and is a performer. He is an in demand motivational speaker having featured in Oprah, The Today Show, The Ellen show and many more. Together with his dad, Patrick John, they have traveled across the globe, inspiring others with their story about never letting obstacles in life define and mould you into ‘its image’. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Louisville magna cum laude. He majored in Spanish and speaks it fluently.

His achievements are all the more extraordinary given the fact that he was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him literally with no eyes and unable to walk. His parents were rightly confused and devastated over their first newborn son. Patrick John remembers going through periods of anger, denial and rage, thinking, ‘God, why us? We’ve played by all the rules’.

One day, alone for the first time with six-week-old Patrick Henry who wouldn’t stop crying, he placed him on top of the piano in an act of desperation, while he played classical music. Patrick Henry calmed down immediately. Nine months later, he began picking out notes from the comforts of his high chair and the rest is history.

Patrick Henry would say this to the media over and over again about his disabilities, “Not disabilities – more abilities! I’m blind and unable to walk. Big deal! But God has given me the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people”. The one person he credits most for his zest for life is none other than his dad (ably supported by his wife). “There wasn’t much time to sleep but it’s what a father is supposed to do. I didn’t have much time to pity myself. I was blessed when I thought about being better off than 90% of the world’s population”. 

Even though Christ was always part of Patrick and Patricia’s life, it wasn’t until their son came along that they began to take their faith more seriously, something that Patrick is equally passionate about. “Our faith is very important to us. We go to church every chance we get”. By the time he was 20, he had already read the entire Bible four times. God is the one he turns to when he faces life’s ongoing challenges.

Last week we heard about the command in Ephesians 5:18, that we allow ourselves to be controlled and ruled by the Holy Spirit. This story gives us a clue what that looks like!

Mark