A blind man has been visiting an Edmonton hospital to play the piano for patients to cheer them up.
For years, Justin Whaling visits the hospital 4 times a week to play the piano and he is totally blind. “Totally blind,” Whaling said, “since birth.”
Whaling picked up playing the piano at age 3, learning songs entirely by ear. He was encouraged by his grandmom and a special piano teacher, and he has kept at it and built up his repertoire over the years.
He says, “I know over 200 songs,” although he has lost two of his biggest fans, but their gift to him will be with him forever.
Hospital volunteer Jim O’Neill said, “It’s just wonderful to watch the joy Justin brings to so many people,” affectionately called as the piano man, Whaling helps to make the day brighter for all those who are having a hard time there.
One woman said, “He’s an inspiration, if you’re going through difficult times, like everybody has difficult times, it brings a smile.”
Whaling too is having a whale of a time playing the piano in the hospital, he says, “I feel like a star, right here on this piano,” he said, “this beautiful, wonderful piano.”