By Luke Kenton
This is the adorable moment a doting dad is reduced to tears, when an impromptu serenade rouses a beaming smile from his hearing-impaired son.
It’s not unusual in the very musical Oxendine household to hear one of its contingents spontaneously bursting out into song, but this emotional rendition of ‘Boy,’ by Lee Brice, is one sure to last long in the memory of 25-year-old dad, Zach.
Clutching his son, Judah, close to his chest at home in Lumberton, North Carolina, Zach beautifully belts out the country ballad, looking his son directly in the eyes before blushing at the realization that his mum, Linda, is filming him.
Intermittently pausing at the admittance that he’s ‘about to cry’, the emotive lyrics combined with his overwhelming adoration for his one of a kind son continuously bring Zach, who perseveres with the encouragement of Linda, to the verge of tears.
But soon it all becomes too much for Zach, when two-year-old Judah – who suffers from cerebral palsy and severe hearing impairment – unleashes a beaming smile of pride towards his father on January 31st, reducing him to tears.
Zach, who’s been singing for as long as he can remember, said: “It’s just a truly magical moment between me and my son – every time I watch the video back and see his smile, I tear up.
“Ever since the song hit the airwaves, it’s been a song that I can relate to, as it explains the love between a father and his son.
“When I got the news that Judah would be having surgery and having a feeding tube placed in his stomach, I played the song over and over again – I cried, but I then realised how strong he and I are, and that’s what lead me to sing it to him.
“Usually Judah reacts with a smile because he loves it when someone interacts with him, we tend to say he’s the happiest boy we’ve seen, despite all he’s been through.
“When he looked up at me, it was if he was saying everything was going to be okay this is just a storm in life that will soon pass and we will one day be thankful for it – that’s what I got from that smile and I just couldn’t contain myself.”
Born at just 23-weeks, Judah weighed 1lb 8ozs and was suffering with bleeding on both sides of his brain.
Kept in intensive care for six months, little Judah was subjected to a multitude of operations and health scares, being diagnosed with cerebral palsy, lung disease and a hearing deficiency in the process.
But ‘miracle’ Judah’s smile never-waivered, acting as a constant inspiration to his adoring dad.
Zach said: “Every obstacle he has faced he has overcome and will continue to do so – he’s a real miracle.
“I can remember even when Judah was in the NICU he was smiling – since he was born and aware he was in the world, he’s never stopped smiling.
“He has a heart of gold and can bring the toughest of men to tears.
“We’re hoping to get Judah a Cochlear implant, it will be a huge step for him in his development.
“He’s a very curious little fella, he loves music.
“He loves to be sung to as I feel like it really soothes him, and with him not yet being able to communicate with world, I feel like he expresses his feeling through the music that’s being sung to him.
“I’ve always thought what would it be like to be a singer, but I just hope to spread my son’s story and help to inspire someone else going through tough times.
“That’s the whole reason we decided to share the video, so that someone else might see it and receive hope.”