Man Battling Disorder Sings at Piano of Hospital in Emotional Video

Combined Shape

A North Carolina man is spreading hope and joy to others through his music even though he himself is battling a rare disease.

In a video that has since gone viral, 21-year-old Dustin Chapman sat down at an open piano at Duke Cancer Center in Durham and played his original song called “Lead the Way.”

Chapman had gone to the hospital only a few days prior because the rare disease that he has been battling with since his birth reared its ugly head.

His mom, Sandi Chapman, went to Facebook to ask friends and family to pray for him.

“He is extremely sick, and has been for a while, but the long-term effects of malnourishment are definitely starting to show again. His heart rate is very, very low—in the 30’s—and his blood pressure is low,” she explained. “He is experiencing a severe tight feeling in his chest. He also gets extremely dizzy and his vision blacks out when he stands, and like always he is barely able to eat anything.”

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He battles a disease called achalasia which affects the muscles in his esophagus to stop working. It makes it extremely difficult to eat and malnutrition is a big threat.

According to the Mayo Clinic there is no cure for achalasia, but the symptoms can be managed through therapy or surgery.

One day he was sat down at an open piano to spread a little joy and encouragement. The 21-year-old loves performing his music and has even opened for country music star Luke Bryan.

For this more intimate performance, however, he decided to play an original song called “Lead the Way.”

One line of the song says, “Every little thing that’s broken, everybody here who’s hopeless take it off, take it off.”

“Obviously my voice isn’t the strongest right now and the IV was interfering with my piano playing, but I was still able to shine a positive light in there today,” Chapman wrote on Facebook.

Afterward, patients expressed their thankfulness to him for bringing joy into the waiting room.

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He wrote, “I had many patients stop me with tears in their eyes and tell me that the words to my song encouraged them and that truly gave me a sense of purpose.”

This is such a sweet moment of hope in the midst of what could otherwise be a gloomy, hopeless place. Continue shining that light, Dustin!

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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