Father & Son: A Real Life Love Story
came across this story this morning and wanted to share it ...
Father & Son
Real-Life Love Story
Every once in awhile someone sends us a story that's so beautiful we are forever changed by it. This is one of those stories.
It started in Winchester, Massachusetts, 43 years ago, when Rick Hoyt was born. Somehow his umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
The doctors told Rick's parents that he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. But Dick Hoyt, Rick's father, didn't believe it. He noticed the way Rick's eyes followed him around the room.
When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way,'' Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain.''
"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed.
Turns out a lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!''
And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that.''
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks.''
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad,'' he typed, "when we were
running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyt's weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. So, for the first few years, Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway.
Later, they would find a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon?
Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironman Competitions in Hawaii.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 - only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
But to really appreciate the greatness of this love story, you have to watch the following video... presented here, courtesy of YouTube.
(And be prepared to be inspired!
PS... To learn more or donate to the The Hoyt Fund, please visit
The Team Hoyt Website.
PSS... The song used in the video is called I Can Only Imagine, as performed by Mercy Me.
06-14-2008, 08:24 AM #2
OH MY!! thank you so much for sharing. This is the most beautiful story I have ever watched! Happy Father's Day to Dick Hoyt, a true hero!!
06-14-2008, 09:10 AM #3
- Join Date
- May 2007
- Northern Hall County, GA
I've seen several versions of this story, and they all make me cry. Thanks for showing it again!
(I wasn't going to watch it again, but I just did...*sniff!* I ran one marathon and will never do it again. I can't fathom what sort of person will push/carry/tow his son in those events. It's so physically demanding...amazing.)
Last edited by NoHall; 06-14-2008 at 09:17 AM.Life doesn't get any better than this.
(Jayne N. Burns)
06-14-2008, 09:40 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Dallas/WaterColor/on computer
Dads...... Wonderful story!Which community along 30A shall we pillage this evening?....gttbm
06-14-2008, 09:40 AM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Santa Rosa Beach
Wow, I'm speechless.
06-14-2008, 10:51 AM #6
What a wonderful story. What a tremendous Dad. What a beautiful face on the son at the end. They are truly full of what life should be. Thanks for sharing it
10-01-2009, 08:41 PM #7
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