Ethan Heitner: One armed trumpeter in the Pine School band

School employee built stand for 6th grader

STUART, Fla. - During Wednesday band practice at the Pine School in Stuart, 11 year-old Ethan Heitner and his classmates are in the middle of a rousing rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

Ethan plays the trumpet, lured to the brass instrument by his friends.

Keeping time is not a problem and neither is playing the instrument.

"It was hard but I got used to it and they helped me through it," said Ethan.

Ethan plays even though he was born with no left arm, and only three fingers on his right one.

"I used to say when I was younger that it was from a shark attack but now I just say what happened."

At the beginning of the school year, Ethan would have to play with the trumpet in between his knees.  Then the school found a better way.

School maintenance man David Allen created a stand for Ethan that keeps the trumpet steady.

"I'm a musician.  I'm a drummer.  The first time I watched him play, it brought tears to my eyes," said Allen.

Ethan doesn't need any help now when he sets up or breaks down.  He considers himself a normal kid.

"I play football a lot and I go fishing a lot."

As for football, Ethan hopes to be the Miami Dolphins kicker when he grows up.  Or maybe a doctor.  His advice to others?  Don't give up.  It's that confidence that's music to the ears of many.

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