Man honored for lifting spirits

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - Kevin Pleasants plays, sings and directs choirs at a couple of Caroline County churches.

"Everybody loves him, everybody loves to hear him sing," said Harolynn Quash.

Kevin found the keys to contentment at a young age.

"I was 15 when I started playing, the Lord called me at that age," Kevin recalled.

With relatively no formal training Kevin was ministering through music.

"5 months later I was playing for the church I play for now. I'm 50 years old now," he said.

For nearly half his 50 years, Kevin has been making music while battling medical issues.

"Neurological problems with my muscles, nerves. There are times when pain so severe I really don't feel like doing anything," he explained.

"Even when he's down and not feeling well he still goes out to play with the choir," added Harolynn.

Three years ago this musician got a chilling diagnosis: acoutic neuroma. "I've been struggling through a lot; I had a brain tumor removed in 2008."

At least seven more surgeries followed. Removing the tumor required severing nerves for hearing and balancing.

"Just this week I've been having balancing problems, my wife said 'what do you keep falling down for?'" Kevin said. "It's strange hearing out one ear, but the Lord makes it so I'm able to continue."

Church members, family and friends helped pay for a hearing aid. Last summer Kevin got a special type of cochlear implant, a bone anchored hearing aid.

"They drilled a hole, and then screwed [the implant] into my skull," Kevin showed us. "The hearing aid actually snaps on to the implant."

He could hear in stereo again, but by fall another setback when the implant came out. "I woke up felt something hit my shoulder," Kevin recalled.

Kevin and his wife were devastated to learn the surgery would have to be redone.

"We just text each other every day, every other day to see how each other is doing," Harolynn said. "Let him know there are people out there that love him."

Longtime friend and cancer survivor Harolynn Quash wanted to do more.

"I was sitting here kept watching you all on Channel 12 about the Acts of Kindness," she said. We answered the call, with $300 cash.

"He's gonna be surprised, I tell you that much, he's not going to believe that I did this," said Harolynn.

We were about to find out, just a short drive, and we arrive at Pleasant's place.

HAROLYNN: "So Kevin the Act of Kindness from Channel 12, I nominated you. They chose you, so today Alex and me coming to you to present $300."
KEVIN: "Thank you. (Laughs)"
SABRINA: "So what do you think of what your friend has done?"
KEVIN: "I appreciate this. I need this $300. It's a blessing to us."

Kevin says he can get more hardware for his head, a new pair of spectacles to replace the one's he had to cut after surgery.

"I'm actually going to go today to Lens Crafters and find myself some glasses," Kevin said.

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