After suffering brain damage as a child a Georgia native now has dreams of playing alongside Keith Urban

Destiny Rhodes will be in Savannah Thursday for Urban’s concert with hopes of joining him on stage
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 3:28 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Country music star Keith Urban will be taking the stage at EnMarket Arena in Savannah Thursday night.

Among the thousands of fans in the crowd will be a mother and daughter duo who share a special connection with him.

In fact, Destiny Rhodes may be one of Urban’s biggest fans.

“He’s the one. He’s my main musical influence. He’s the one who got me playing guitar,” explains Destiny.

Hearing her play today you likely wouldn’t realize how incredible it truly is.

“When Destiny was 18 months old, she was feeling ill and running a temperature, so I put her in the bed with me and I woke up to her around 4 a.m. convulsing,” says her mother Rosa Rhodes.

Due to the severity Destiny was then flown to Memorial in Savannah.

“We spoke to the doctors and they told us she had a large amount of brain damage and we didn’t know what we were facing,” Rosa said.

Destiny of course would survive, but would deal with cognitive impairments, including seizures.

“It looked like, plus with the medication, that she was almost robotic. We couldn’t find her personality anymore,” recalls Rosa.

Making it a challenge for Destiny to make friends, or even communicate.

“But during those times I was listening to Keith Urban on TV on CMT,” says Destiny. “Then I said with my young nasally voice, ‘I want to play like him one day.’”

Once she started playing, everything changed.

“She began using her instruments as a form of communication,” says her mother.

The more she watched Keith, “he’s not afraid to play out. That’s the main point.”

The more she began to believe in herself, “he’s now helping me live my dream. Also helping me do something that I love doing. Now I continue playing guitar everyday and just enjoy it.”

Her dream, to meet, and play with Keith, which she nearly did after winning a national guitar competition.

“And she thought she would be able to play with him, and that’s been her dream all along. But because of COVID she wasn’t able to do that.”

Instead they played virtually explained Rosa.

A good start, but for Destiny the goal remains.

“Virtually talk to him, check. Virtually play with him, check. Saw me in person, check. Play with him in person, no not yet.”

That’s what is bringing Destiny and her mom to Savannah Thursday, a chance, for these old friends to finally share the stage.

“I see him as my guitar buddy you know,” says Destiny.

But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be nervous.

“Even if he calls me up, I would say, ‘Lord knock of my nerves and get me through this.’”

But even if she doesn’t make it up on that stage Thursday what Destiny and Rosa want more than anything is to say thank you.

“With him giving her the encouragement to have something outside the seizures to focus on. Giving her that goal that, ‘this is what I want to do,’” Rosa says.

“The videos he’s made, they way he shares his voice with the world, I just want to say thank you for that,” said Destiny.

“She’s not quitting, she’s not going to give up,” added her mother.

“I’m a wild heart!” Destiny says referencing her favorite Keith Urban song.

Destiny did have brain surgery three years ago and has been seizure free since then.

She also credits Urban with helping her makes friends, thanks to his fan group.