Born with just 4 Fingers, This Self-Taught Pianist is Inspiring Story of Determination & Passion

837 Views Updated: 09 Oct 2017
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Born with just 4 Fingers, This Self-Taught Pianist is Inspiring Story of Determination & Passion

If you believe in miracles, Hee Ah Lee is one of them who came to Earth as a human. Born with only two fingers on each hand and her legs being amputated at the knees when she was a child, she is a walking miracle as she is not only good at playing piano, she is amazing at what she does. Thin legs did exist below her knees, but they had to be amputated when she was just 3 years of age. Since then, she has been using her knees as her feet. The doctors were expecting that she won't live, but she did and gave this world one of the best pianists we have known today!

Lee's mother was married to a disabled man, and that is when she got pregnant with Lee. Lee's father was a soldier who got injured in a military operation and got paralyzed below the waist. Sun was his attending nurse, and that is how they met. They eventually got married but never imagined having a baby. Doctors had already told her that her baby will be born as an abnormal child because of certain medication she had been taking for motion sickness, but she decided to have the child. In 1985, she gave birth to Hee Ah Lee in South Korea who is an inspiration for so many others now. Although adviced by doctors and relatives to give up the child for adoption as Lee was born with disfigured hands and legs, she decided to take the child home and give all the love.

When Lee was 6-years-old, she was asked by her mother to take piano lessons to strengthen her hands. A lot of schools turned them down before they finally found a teacher who was willing to teach her. Until 3 months it was all blank, and Lee did not learn much to play the piano. Then one day, there was a time when Sun actually threw her daughter, Lee in frustration giving up all hope on her. However, Lee back on the bench played the song she was learning for the first time. That was a major turning point in her life.

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After that, she never stopped and took piano as the aim of her life. She won a grand prize in a piano competition while she was in kindergarten. The next prize was won by her at the age of 7 which was Korea’s 19th National Handicap Conquest Contest, it was awarded to her by the President of the nation. Since then, she has received a lot of awards for her brilliance in playing piano as she can play the notes that even the able-bodied pianists find difficult. Her very first album named "Hee-ah, a pianist with four fingers" was released in 2008.

Now, she attends The South Korean National College of Rehabilitation and Welfare. She also travels to play piano at concerts. Her mother has made pedals for her which makes it easy for her to climb the piano bench. She handles everything during Lee's concerts. Lee has performed in over 200 concerts till now, and she was widely praised for her unique talent all-over.


Hee ah Lee is truly an inspiration for many of us now who aspire to achieve goals that were only seen as impossible by the world till now. Looking at this beautiful girl playing the piano with such flawlessness, it makes me wonder if anything is impossible at all in this world. Now I can say that if we truly put our minds to something, there is nothing that we cannot achieve and Lee is a living example to prove that. 

(Image Courtesy: 1. Baltyra, Video Courtesy: YouTube; Kapalangi (Featured Image Courtesy)

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