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Homeless Piano Man Reconnects with Son after Story Goes Viral

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Donald Gould’s biggest hope was that his son would reach out to him

You may have seen the story about Florida homeless man whose musical talents have gained him fame and a new lease on life. It’s a story of hope, human dignity, and second chances.

Donald Gould was spotted playing the piano outside a Sarasota restaurant by a two young people and one of their moms, who were amazed by his talent and wanted to help him. They made a video, set up a Donald Gould Facebook page, and launched a GoFundMe campaign

Inside Edition eventually got wind of the story and paid for a make-over for Donald, which was documented in video and shared online

While Donald shared his gratitude for a clean shaven face and all the help and support he has received, foremost on his mind has been reconnecting with his 18 year-old son, Donny. In fact, for Donald, his biggest hope was that all the media attention would inspire his son to get in touch with him.

And it did. His biologocal son, Donny, who was adopted by a Michigan couple at the age of five, recently sat down and watched the video of Donald playing the piano on the street after his mom and dad, Terri and Darryl, received a phone call from a friend who had seen the coverage on Inside Edition.

“We watched the video and after we watched the video we called Donny into the room and sat him between us and had him watch the video for the first time.”

Terri and Darryl explained to Donny that the homeless man with the amazing piano talent was his birth father. Donny had no memories of Donald since he hadn’t seen him since he was three.

“When we saw him, the way he looked, it was just so sad that we wanted to reach out to him,” Terri said.

Donny says he loves his adopted mom and dad as much as any son could love his parents, but still wanted to reach out to his biological father. He told Inside Edition that he thought getting in touch with Donald might "help the piano man as he gets his life back on track."

Father and son recently had a video chat and now all parties hope that, in time, there can be on a face-to-face meeting. Donald plans to enter rehab. 

Zoe Romanowsky is the lifestyle editor and video content producer for Aleteia.