About 11 years before this story was filmed Andy’s fate was not looking too rosy. He had a series of health issues including serious heart complications and depression. He spent most of his time alone and in severe debilitating pain. He spent most of his money on medicine. Doctor’s did not give Andy more than a few months to live.
One day he asked himself one simple question, “If there was one thing left do do on this earth, what would I want to do?” For him the answer was easy: Give the gift of music. So he made a phone call, asking a school principal for permission to come in and teach a class of children to play the harmonica. He would provide each one of them with a harmonica too. Without giving it a second thought, he took the $750 he would have spent on medication and bought harmoncias for the kids. That fateful day changed his life and the life of so many children. After his session, the principal asked if he would do this for the rest of the school children. The program was so successful that soon Andy approached other schools in the area. Andy gave up his medication full time and started buying Harmonicas in bulk. To his surprise instead of dying he began to truly live.
Andy Mackie died a few years after the filming of this movie, but his work lives on in the gift of music he gave to tens of thousands of children.