Musical prodigy born prematurely returns to Kentucky Children's Hospital

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - He was born many weeks early and spent his first several months in an intensive care unit, battling some life-threatening conditions. But he beat the odds. Now more than 18 years later, the self-taught musical prodigy returned to Kentucky Children's Hospital for a special reunion with the doctor who helped save his life.

You could hear the sounds of classical music from a mile away, echoing at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

"I don't know I can't help it," said Kennedy Wickers, a pianist and musical prodigy. "I'd say Mozart. I like his fast temper and wildness I guess."

"It's something which I cannot describe in words," said Dr. Nirmala Desai, the professor of pediatrics at Kentucky Children's Hospital. "It's very gratifying. It brought tears to my eyes."

He's not a composer or professional pianist, so Kennedy Wickers was not at Kentucky Children's Hospital to necessarily just perform but thank doctors for making his life possible.

"I never had a lesson in my life," said Kennedy Wickers. "Never. Nope."

"He was 26 weeks, 14 weeks early, and he was 2 pounds and 2.5 ounces and 13 inches long," said Heather Wickers, Kennedy's mother.

Kennedy Wickers is now 18 years old, 6 feet tall, and healthy. But he once told bleeding on the brain, underdeveloped lungs, and many other complications could take his life.

"He was in an incubator with all these tubes all over him and very little," said Heather Wickers.

"Told that I wouldn't live and wouldn't make it to this day, and now I'm here," said Kennedy Wickers.

"It's remarkable to see that he's so good at piano," said Dr. Desai.

Academics never did come naturally for Kennedy Wickers with a few learning difficulties. But the arts has always come as second nature.

"He didn't get it from our family," said Heather Wickers. "Don't ask me to sing. Don't ask me to play."

"I just listen and for some reason all these melodies come in my head and take it down and it just comes out," said Kennedy Wickers.

Low chances of life have turned into high hopes for Kennedy Wickers' future.

"That he'll be able to go far with his music if that's God's will," said his mother. "But that he'll be happy. For the most part happy."

Kennedy Wickers will graduate from homeschool on Friday.

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