Fifth-grader Abby Gieseke, born with one hand due to a rare genetic disorder, is learning to play the flute thanks to some extraordinary innovation by an 88-year-old musician and instrument repairman. From NBCDFW:
“I find my own ways to do things other people can do,” said Abby.
However the flute posed a much bigger problem than most of the other activities Abby had worked through. After all you can’t even hold up a flute to play it without two hands.
“That’s what was hard with this flute is we wondered if this was going to be the time where we were going to tell her, ‘Abby, we don’t know if you can do this,'” said Julie.
That’s something the Giesekes have always tried to avoid, so they searched far and wide trying to avoid it again by finding a way Abby could play the flute…
Clarence Jefferson Wood Jr., or Woody as everyone calls him, is a long time Denton resident and life-long musician. He says he got his first Clarinet at age 9 and has been playing and repairing instruments nearly all of his life. He is now 88-years-old.
When the Giesekes brought their proposal to Wood, a one handed flute, he says it was one of the more challenging requests he’d heard.
“I’ve never done anything that expansive before, but I said I would give it a try,” said Woody.
So he set out to make the flute. Over 3 weeks he went through several versions, many of which were far too complicated for anyone, especially an 11 year-old, to operate.
Finally though, Woody had created a flute that he believed would work just for Abby.
View the heart-warming video below: