When you know more about the Hughes family of Louisville, Kentucky, you’ll better understand why they were chosen to have Ty Pennington and the gang of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” designers renovate their house into a safer and more accessible home for their blind and handicapped son, Patrick Henry.
Patricia and Patrick John Hughes’s eldest son, Patrick Henry, (19) was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, leaving him unable to walk. The wheelchair-bound Patrick Henry has not let obstacles stand in the way of achieving his goals. Patrick Henry showed extraordinary abilities at a very early age despite his physical challenges.
Patrick Henry is an amazing pianist. By the age of two, the toddler could play songs on the piano after hearing them only once. The gifted young man is not only a university student, but also plays a wide array of musical instruments, is an accomplished singer, and an exuberant trumpet player in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Band. The remarkable Patrick Henry has commented in previous interviews he feels he’s “been blessed” and is grateful for his abilities.
His father, Patrick John Hughes, works a night shift so he can accompany his son to university classes during the day, providing visual aid to the eager student as needed. Inspired by his son’s “can do” attitude, Patrick John also guides the wheelchair, keeping pace with the other 220+ marching band members during practice and game formations. So many of Patrick Henry’s accomplishments are made possible with the additional, inexhaustible support of his mother, Patricia, and brothers, Jesse and Cameron.
Patrick Henry has been honored for his triumphs and has been featured on ESPN, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, and Sports Illustrated, among many others. He was also the winner of the 2006 Disney Wide World of Sports Spirit Award. Patrick Henry is a true inspiration to both those his age and to adults.
As a result of being in a wheelchair, it is difficult for Patrick Henry to maneuver through the Hughes’ humble home. His wheelchair has done extensive damage to the walls, and the house is now in need of desperate help. With a huge hole in their bank account due to Patrick Henry’s father’s decision to stay at home during the day and care for Patrick’s special needs, repairing the house is the last priority on the Hughes’ agenda. It is now up to Ty and his gang to give this energetic and supportive family the dream home that they always deserved!