YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

A piano virtuoso who went viral in late June has been given the chance to create a beautiful new beginning.

Donald Gould, a homeless man from Sarasota, Florida, became a viral sensation when he gave a powerfully moving performance on piano of Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” The video received national attention and has amassed over 10 million views.

It also sparked some very big changes in Gould’s life.

Gould, a 51-year old Marine Corps veteran, studied music theory at Spring Arbor University in the hopes of one day teaching music. “I had to learn how to play every instrument from the piccolo all the way down to the tuba,” Gould said the day after the video went viral.

Inside Edition Youtube Screenshot
Inside Edition Youtube Screenshot

He was also a drum major in high school and played the clarinet in the Marine Corps. The connoisseur of music fine tuned his skills in college, but he ran out of money three semesters short of graduation, WWSB said. So he left school and took up other jobs in addition to starting a family.

Tragically, however, he lost his wife in 1998 and his problems with substance abuse spiraled, causing him to have his 3-year old son taken away from him, according to WWSB. When the video went viral, Gould hoped that at least one of the people to view it would be his son.

And he was.

Gould and his son reconnected via video call and finally got the opportunity to talk. It was the first time that he had seen his son in 15 years.

Continuing on his journey, Gould was just given a full scholarship to complete his education at Spring Arbor University. The scholarship, worth more than $30,000 according to USA Today, will allow him to once again pursue his dream of teaching music.

This past week, he also entered rehab in order to remain on a path of improvement. His GoFundMe page has raised over $42,000 to support his progress.

For Gould, the journey of self-improvement has just begun on the road to a new life and a second chance.

A before-and-after comparison of Gould after he received a makeover. (Inside Edition YouTube screenshot)
A before-and-after comparison of Gould after he received a makeover. (Inside Edition YouTube screenshot)