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Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.

Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.
Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.(Family photo)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:30 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Look closely at 10-year-old Braiden Brown. He has two fingers on each hand.

On March 19, 2019, Braiden’s family says he was in a horrible lawnmower accident in Lincolnton.

He was airlifted to Levine Children’s Hospital, rushed into emergency surgery, and then spent close to a month there afterward undergoing more surgeries, skin grafts, and rehab.

His grandmother, Martha Brown, his legal guardian, says he still struggles with PTSD and anxiety. He has his ring finger and pinky on his right hand; his thumb and index finger on the left. There is also a large scar on the inside of his left leg that goes down past his knee.

Braiden lives in Cherryville, in Gaston County. He’s in the 5th grade now at W.B. Beam Intermediate in Cherryville. His younger sister Addyson is in 3rd grade at Cherryville Elementary School.

“Braiden is our walking miracle,” said Lesley Hoffman, his aunt. Lesley’s brother is Braiden’s father, and Martha is their mother who’s raising Braiden and Addyson. “One of the most amazing things about him is something you might not expect: Braiden is learning to play the piano.”

Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.
Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.(Family photo)

Braiden’s piano teacher, Zilla Aldridge, said she’s ever seen anything like it. He has lessons on Tuesdays.

“He only has two fingers on each hand and is learning an instrument that most people with all ten fingers have trouble learning,” she said. “He thinks he is a rock star. We agree. We think he is, too.”

Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.
Molly’s Kids: Braiden Brown. Two fingers on each hand and learning to play piano.(Family photo)

Zilla says she’s proud of how well Braiden has adapted to hitting the keys. She’s amazed, she tells his family, because he’s already starting to play music that her 4th years are learning.

Braiden has also figured out how to play PS4 video games, and football with gloves his family had altered to fit.

“He’s too young for useful prosthetics,” his aunt Lesley said. “So he’s figured out how to do everything with his ‘little hands’ as he calls them.”

That whole year of 2019 wasn’t only tough for Braiden, it was also difficult for his grandmother. Martha was diagnosed with breast cancer in the beginning of the year and had a lump removed in February. Then Braiden’s accident was on March 19th, 2020. Lesley says they ended up having to put Martha’s recovery and healing on hold, to focus on Braiden, and keep life as normal for him and Addyson.

Braiden was nominated by a case worker at the hospital to be one of the Dream On 3 Dream Kids. He had a sports dream come true by going to Boston to watch the New England Patriots.

Few more photos of Braiden below. He said he’d send us a video of him playing... will post when it’s received. (Send when you guys can -- we’d love to watch and hear!)

Welcome to #MollysKids, Braiden. You’re a walking example of pushing through and trying the unexpected.

-Molly

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