One tragic real-life story on The Project last night left the entire panel overcome with emotion and fighting back tears.
The panellists on The Project were overcome with emotion during Wednesday night’s episode after a heartbreaking story about two parents who had lost their incredibly talented son just two weeks ago.
Queensland couple Ian Brennell and Amanda Brierley lost their 12-year-old son Kyan Pennell on January 31 in a freak accident on their rural property when he was caught between a gate and a car trailer. Despite every effort to save him, he died of his severe injuries.
News of his death made headlines around Australia – which prompted his mother Amanda to try to “change his legacy” and let the public know about her son’s life, rather than his death.
Kyan was also an incredibly talented musician, who had taught himself to play piano by watching YouTube tutorials in the months before his death.
He would play complex classical pieces to his proud parents, leaving them stunned at his talents: “My heart would just explode – who is this child?” said Amanda.
After his death, Kyan’s parents made a surprising discovery in his room: An exercise book filled with musical notes – a composition he’d written himself. They had no idea he was even able to write music yet.
“After I found that piece, I knew that we had to hear it. Neither of us can read music, and we don’t know many musicians,” said Amanda, who put the call out on Facebook for someone to help play her son’s final composition.
Many heeded the call – among them, singer Delta Goodrem, and members of several professional orchestras, who recorded the beautiful piece of music for Kyan’s parents to hear for the first time:
“I put my hand over my mouth and just cried, because it was like a little part of him had just come to life a little bit,” said Amanda of hearing her son’s music come to life.
“It was like hearing a little bit of his mind again.”
Kyan’s self-penned unfinished symphony was played at his funeral last Sunday, with members of the Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras dialling in to perform it.
The incredibly moving story – and the unbelievably raw grief of Kyan’s parents – struck a chord with both viewers and the panel on The Project last night, who were all visibly emotional as the story finished.
“That’s such an incredible story. Obviously there’s still so much grief there, and that’s going to carry on for such a long time,” said Peter Helliar, choking back tears. “The commitment to turn Kyan’s life into a celebration is really beautiful.”
“It’s a beautiful piece of music,” said panellist Rachel Corbett.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Kyan’s family as they mourn the loss of their son.