How a piano video reunited a homeless Marine and his son
WOOD TV News 8, Michigan and WFLA in Sarasota, Florida – Donald Gould is a homeless Marine. A video of him playing piano recently went viral, and it brought him together with the son who had been taken from him 15 years before.
That music video has also given him a life coach – Jacqueline Bevan, as well as temporary housing, an interview on Inside Edition, and an account that has reached $35,000 so far. Bevan is a Christian life coach based out of Sarasota, and is helping him to get his life squared away. The video has literally changed his life in so many ways- the most important of which is finding his son.
Drugs- a downward spiral
A drug problem caused Mr. Gould to lose custody of his son when the boy was age 3. Donny, now 18, has no memory of his biological father. But his birth father remembers him.
“I’ve always loved him from the day he was born. I’m never going to stop loving him.” Donald Gould
The mother died of a morphine overdose in 1998.
Son Donny was adopted by his grandmother after he was removed from the home. When she encountered difficulties in raising him, Darryl and Terri (first names given only) adopted him.
“We went and picked him up brought him home and he just fit right in like he was always supposed to be here.” Terri
A viral video
A video of Donald playing “Come Sail Away” by Styx on an outdoor piano in Sarasota, Florida, recently went viral. He has always hoped that his music would make a way for him to see his son again.
“Every day it’s painful. There’s not a day that goes by that they took him that I ain’t thought about him. He turned 18 last August 24th, and I wish he would come find me.” Donald Gould to WFLA
When Darryl and Terri saw the video and recognized the name, they contacted the news station that aired it. They showed the video to Donny.
“I did get a couple of tears in my eyes just knowing he was out there and just knowing he knew he had a son out there and that he was looking for me.” Donny
When asked what he would say to his father when he met him, Donny had no answer.
Reuniting of father and son
WOOD TV-News 8 in Michigan worked with WFLA in Sarasota on setting up a video call between father and son.
By the time the call was made, Gould was showered and clean-shaven, unlike his appearance in the video.
After a short greeting between the two, Donny caught him up on his life, then remarked…
“I just hoped you’d get your act cleaned up so we could see each other still.”
Gould replied, “I hope to make that day happen one of these days soon.”
A brighter future
Gould had plans to check into rehab on Wednesday that week. He has received an offer to attend a Michigan college to finish his degree, which means he may be able to move closer to his son.
“Music took me around the world before I was 21 and somehow, my music now has gotten me back together with my son.” Donald Gould
Below is the YouTube video that went viral, and made a way for a father and son to reunite. A big thanks to the news stations that worked to get the two men back together. We wish father and son the best. Perhaps Mr. Gould’s music will always be a reminder that his son matters more than the drugs that took him away.