12-year-old boy delivers tearful piano performance after dad returns from hospital

CHRIS LUMSDEN
·3 min read

One seventh-grader is inspiring many around the world with his tearful piano rendition of Le'Andria Johnson's "Deliver Me."

When Johnnie Clark of Victorville, California, surprised his 12-year-old son, Shyon, with a brand new organ in March, the pair promised to spend quality time with each other daily, learning new songs and enhancing their musical skills.

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Inspired by his dad, who grew up playing music, Shyon started playing the piano at just 4 years old, with dreams of one day becoming a famous musician.

"I was so excited that my dad got me a brand new organ that I could call my own," Shyon told "Good Morning America." "I knew that I would be able to spend more time with him and we could vibe with each other."

Throughout the pandemic, the father-son duo spent nearly four hours each day practicing together and playing hits from popular gospel artists such as Kirk Franklin and Erica Campbell. Often times, making music served as a form of therapy and as a way for Shyon to express his emotions.

In early September, Clark was rushed to the hospital with a serious infection. For nearly a week, he fought for his life at a California medical center, saying his motivation to keep fighting was Shyon and his four other children.

"Shyon called me every day, so that pushed me to better myself and get back to my family," he said. "I knew that I had to return home and show him that I was going to be OK. He was my motivation."

PHOTO: Father-son duo, Shyon and Johnnie Clark, give each other a fist bump in this undated family photo. (Courtesy Johnnie Clark)
PHOTO: Father-son duo, Shyon and Johnnie Clark, give each other a fist bump in this undated family photo. (Courtesy Johnnie Clark)

Although Shyon was concerned for his dad, he said he always stayed hopeful and played his organ each day as a reminder of their treasured time together.

"It made me extremely sad because I couldn't see him and we weren't able to be together. But I continued to play the organ by myself because I didn't want to forget the songs he taught me," Shyon said.

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After a long and excruciating few days in the hospital, Clark kept his promise and returned home. His family welcomed him with open arms at the front door.

The next day, Shyon asked to perform the popular single, "Deliver Me," for his dad, because the 12-year-old was touched by the song's lyrics. During the performance, which the family recorded and shared on social media, the seventh-grader broke down in tears. Shyon told "GMA" his tearful reaction was because he was relieved his dad was home and healthy.

"I started to tear up because at one point I thought I was never going to see my dad again, but he was 'delivered.' So I just let it all out and I couldn't hold my tears back," he said.

The video quickly went viral and has gotten over 700,000 views since it was posted on Sept. 24. It was later shared by Color Coded Media, a platform that highlights positive news and outstanding stories from communities of color.

In the weeks after his hospitalization, Clark dealt with several health complications, including pneumonia and COVID-19; however, Shyon persevered through those difficult moments by continuing to play his organ.

Now, Clark and Shyon are back to playing the organ each day at home. The father-son duo have continued their music lessons, often sharing Shyon's performances on social media. They've also begun writing original songs together to inspire others during the pandemic.

"Being home, feeling a lot better and being able to teach and record music with Shyon is such a good feeling," Clark said. "I feel like I held my promise to him."

PHOTO: Shyon Clark and his dad, Johnnie Clark, embrace in a hug in this undated family photo. (Courtesy Johnnie Clark)
PHOTO: Shyon Clark and his dad, Johnnie Clark, embrace in a hug in this undated family photo. (Courtesy Johnnie Clark)

12-year-old boy delivers tearful piano performance after dad returns from hospital originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com