Norton piano player

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Music fills the lobby at Norton Women's and Children's Hospital. It's the creative touch of Ethan Kelley.

"He creates this tranquil atmosphere and it's comforting," said Rita Ross, manager of volunteer services at Norton Women's and Children's Hospital.

For nearly two years, Ethan's volunteered his time behind the keyboard.

"The staff looks forward to Ethan every week," said Ross.

Ethan keeps those waiting entertained. When Ethan's at the piano, people are drawn to his music.

"The smiles and the joy of watching him play and the people stop and listen," said Ross.

It was in this same hospital where Ethan was born 20 years ago.

"When he was born we found out he had Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome," said Ethan's mom, Cheri Kelley.

His parents waited anxiously at this hospital when he had open heart surgery at just three months old. "His heart totally failed and he had to have a very serious surgery," said Cheri.

During that surgery, Ethan had a stroke that damaged the part of his brain that controls speech. It spared the part that controls creativity.

"And he really does speak through his music now," said Cheri.

Ethan communicates through the classics. The melody makes it effortless.

"It means so much to me that his music touches people," said Cheri.

Ethan's been playing piano since he was nine years old and while he can read music, he plays everything by heart thanks to his perfect pitch.

"He remembers every piece he plays, so this gift is really amazing," said Cheri. "To see his gift in this area. His ear is amazing."

While the words don't always come easy for Ethan, he's finding a way through music.

Norton Women's and Children's Hospital is looking for more piano players. More information can be found here.

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