Teen With Disability Moves Crowd To Tears With National Anthem Performance

May 24, 2024

At a recent Minor League Baseball game in South Carolina, 13-year-old Sawyer McCarthy delivered a stirring rendition of the national anthem that brought the audience to tears. Now, his performance is touching hearts worldwide through online videos.

sawyer teen national anthem blind disabled
Sawyer / WIS News 10

Sawyer's journey is nothing short of inspiring. At just three months old, his parents noticed something unusual: he didn't squint when exposed to sunlight. This small observation led to a life-changing diagnosis.

“When we went to the doctor, they did an MRI of his brain and told us he was missing the middle of his brain, the midline structure,” explained his mother, Brianna McCarthy, to WIS News 10. Further examinations revealed that Sawyer has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, a condition that often results in blindness and can include various developmental challenges. Despite these obstacles, Sawyer's vibrant personality shines through.

From a young age, Sawyer's parents discovered his remarkable musical talent.

"He has the ability to listen to something and harmonize beautifully with it," said his father, Patrick McCarthy. "I'm not sure if it's because he's blind and his hearing senses are heightened, but he picks up on things and learns them very quickly."

Although Sawyer has difficulty with regular communication, his mom believes that singing is his true form of expression—and he loves every moment of it.

 "I love singing for people, and what can I say? Inspiring others maybe, yeah, to inspire others, and to make people smile," Sawyer said.

Watch the performance below.

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