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Piano Savant Recalls Life Before Life-Changing Accident


IF IT BECOMES LAW, KID-OWNED BUSINESSES LIKE LEMONADE STANDS WOULDN’T NEED A PERMIT AS LONG AS THEY OPERATE LESS THAN 84 DAYS A YEAR. A HEAD INJURY CHANGED A COLORADO MAN, AND NOW HE WANTS TO GIVE BACK. LAST NIGHT RICK SALLINGER TOLD US ABOUT A MAN THAT SUDDENLY BECAME A PIANO SAVANT AND NOW HE TELLS US WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE. REPORTER: HE LOOKS AND PLAYS LIKE A CONCERT PIANIST, BUT DEREK’S PATH IS A MOST UNUSUAL ONE. 12 YEARS AGO, HE HIT HIS HEAD IN A SWIMMING POOL, UNLEASHING AN UNKNOWN MUSICAL TALENT. HE HAS WHAT’S CALLED ACCIDENTAL SAVANT SYNDROME. BEFORE THAT HE WAS A DENVER BUSINESSMAN BEFORE HIS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS BUSINESS WENT BUST. YOU WERE HOMELESS? YES, FOR ABOUT THREE AND A HALF MONTHS. REPORTER: HE SAYS HE GOT BY WITH A SMALL BACKPACK AND BLANKET A LOT LIKE THESE PEOPLE. I’VE HAD MOMENTS OF HOMELESSNESS BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE I BELONG IT. REPORTER: ESPECIALLY THROUGH SUPPORTING THE VOICE NEWSPAPER WHICH BENEFITS THE HOMELESS. I CAN GO OUT WITH THESE VENDORS AND DO POP UP APPEARANCES WITH THE VOICE AND PLAY A LITTLE MUSIC AND SELL SOME NEWSPAPERS AT THE SAME TIME. HE CALLS HIS ACCIDENT MY BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. IT’S THE BEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME. MY WHOLE BEING HAS JUST CHANGED, AND I WOULD LIKE TO THINK IT’S BEEN JUST AN INCREDIBLE, BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE. REPORTER: AN EXPERIENCE

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