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Louisville musician Patrick Henry Hughes, whose battles in life have inspired many, will be the guest speaker for A Loving Choice Pregnancy Resource Center's annual benefit banquet at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House on Thursday night.
Hughes’ story is one of success in the face of overwhelming obstacles, one that has drawn national attention.
Now a senior at the University of Louisville, he was born without eyes and without the ability to straighten his arms or legs.
Hughes said upon his birth his parents, Patrick John and Patricia, heard words like "multiple anomalies" in place of "congratulations."
"They had their days," Hughes said. "They asked, 'Why, God? Why us?'
And they realized they could take me in and love me as much as any child."
The ability to adapt and persevere continues to pass from parent to child, as Hughes thrived in music and school with Patricia and Patrick John's support.
"My mom is a very strong person. She was going to make sure that I could be all that I could be," Hughes said. "I started playing piano when I was nine months old. Dad was technically my first teacher."
Hughes later took up the trumpet, and his father made it possible for Hughes to participate in U of L's marching band, guiding his son's wheelchair through the formations as Hughes plays the trumpet.
Patrick John also attends classes with Hughes, who is pursuing a degree in Spanish.
The Hugheses have been featured on numerous national television shows, including ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
Hughes has performed and spoken around the world. He published a book, I am Potential, last year with his father. The two collaborated on his second album, Look Within, which is expected to be released in mid-October.
Patrick John plays the guitar on a few songs, while Hughes sings and plays the piano, trumpet and harmonica.
Hughes will play the piano and sing during the banquet. He said attendees can expect a broad mix of musical genres, from classical to country, including Brooks and Dunn's "Believe," which Hughes looks to for daily inspiration.
"That song lets me know there is a greater power that will help me achieve a goal," he said.