He Met A Blind, Disabled Boy At A Diner. 17 Years Later, See How That Moment Changed Everything

January 9, 2017

It was October of 1999 when Jim Bradford first met HK Derryberry. Bradford stopped in a local Tennessee diner and glanced over to notice a boy, sitting alone, staring out a window.

It was the beginning of a beautiful, desperately needed friendship.

Bradford began spending more time with HK, taking him on errands around town and out for milkshakes, and to church on Sunday mornings. He learned of the boy's heartbreaking background, which began on the day of his birth.

HK's pregnant mother and father were driving down a winding Tennessee road when his father lost control of the vehicle. The resulting crash took his mother's life, and brought the unborn child into the world months earlier than he should have been.

A resulting brain bleed left HK with cerebral palsy and an underdevelopment of his right limbs. His retinas were not fully developed, leaving the baby blind.

When Bradford met HK, everything changed. He became a mentor and a father to the young boy.

Bradford saw potential in HK, and harnessed his talent for a greater good. Together, they wrote a book titled "The Awakening of HK Derryberry," the story of the boy who remembers everything.

Today, Bradford is 73 and HK is 26. They meet regularly to chat about bluegrass and football, make jokes, and sign copies of their book.

The pair now travels the country together, telling their story for others. HK is thrilled that his purpose in life is, "to inspire people."

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