Staunton native returns as author with a touching story
A lesson of triumph through life’s trials … the true story of Patrick Gorman, a boy who overcame deafness and Marfan syndrome with the support of his family.
Thousands of children in the United States are diagnosed with deafness each year. Over 50,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disease that threatens the heart, lungs, and spinal cord. Few have to struggle with both of these illnesses, and even fewer have overcome these disadvantages with the determination and compassion of Patrick Gorman.
Despite slim chances at a successful life, Patrick rose above his circumstances to become a talented artist, before being taken away from the world at the all-too-young age of seventeen. This true story of survival, family, and personal triumph is captured in A Young Life of Light, written by Patrick’s grandfather, Henry Hathaway Warner.
Patrick Gorman’s life is a testament to the power of family. Patrick’s mother, Cabell Gorman, fought against skeptical doctors and a less-than-supportive education system in order to secure a bright future for her son. Cabell and the rest of the Gorman family stood beside Patrick throughout early years plagued by constant medical issues that left him deaf in both ears and with a weakened heart. Where most people would not have the strength to carry on, Patrick faced his problems with incredible optimism, impacting the lives of his peers with his compassion. With a natural talent for painting, Patrick was preparing for a future in art school before passing away suddenly at seventeen. The story does not end at Patrick’s death, however, but continues with the outpouring of support from a community quick to recognize the influence Patrick had on his world.
About the Author: Harry Hathaway Warner was born in Staunton in 1935, and graduated from The Episcopal High School and Virginia Military Institute. Before retirement, he enjoyed a varied career in banking, corporate, and non-profit management, service on corporate boards, consulting, and real estate development. His avocations have also been varied to include racquet sports, farming, horses, motorcycling, adventures, and writing. His greatest interests are in his children and grandchildren. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.