When a homeless man, Donald Gould, stumbled upon an outdoor piano in Sarasota, Florida, little did he know that his impromptu performance would touch the hearts of people worldwide and lead to a crowdfunding campaign to lift him out of homelessness.

Donald, hoping to earn a few food tips, decided to play the piano, choosing the complex and beautiful song “Come Sail Away” by STYX. Despite his scruffy appearance, Donald’s skillful rendition captivated passersby, including Aurore Henry, who captured the moment on her phone.

Moved by his talent, Aurore shared the video online, where it quickly went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands and then millions of views. The overwhelming response prompted Aurore and her friends to return the next day to find Donald and convey their appreciation for his music.

Expressing their belief in his talent, Aurore’s friend encouraged Donald to pursue opportunities to share his gift with the world. This encounter marked the beginning of a journey that would ultimately change Donald’s life.

After getting to know him better, Aurore and her friends discovered that Gould is a former US Marine who had been homeless for six to seven years. He shared that his struggles began after the passing of his wife, which led to addiction issues and the loss of custody of his son by social services. Despite living on and off the streets, Gould persevered to survive.

During their conversation, Gould revealed that he had a background in music, having played clarinet as a child and for the Marine Corps Band. He had also studied music education at university but was unable to complete his studies.

Touched by Gould’s story and talent, kind-hearted individuals from around the world initiated a GoFundMe campaign for him, raising over $40,000. With this support, Gould made the courageous decision to seek help for his addiction and strive for a return to a normal life.

Following the outpouring of love and support, Gould transformed with the help of Inside Edition, receiving a new wardrobe and his first haircut and shave in over 18 months.

Reflecting on his makeover, Gould expressed his anticipation for the change, remarking, “People won’t recognize me.”

Following his transformation, Gould showcased his musical talents with a live performance at Michael’s On East restaurant in Sarasota, where he received widespread acclaim from the audience.

“That was wonderful,” remarked one attendee, while another praised Gould’s skill, saying, “I am just learning to play the piano. You are amazing.”

Impressed by his performance and story, the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team extended an invitation for Gould to play the national anthem at one of their home games, where he would perform in front of 70,000 spectators.

Following his newfound success and transformation, Gould released his debut album titled “Walk on Water.” Additionally, his former university, where he had previously studied music education but couldn’t complete his studies, offered him a full scholarship to return and finish his education.

In a heartwarming turn of events, Gould was also able to reunite with his son. Overjoyed by their reunion, he expressed his happiness to see his son again, saying, “I’m so happy to see you.”

Watch this beautiful video of Gould playing the piano: