Kentucky

‘What the world needs.’ Child’s sweet reaction to his family singing ‘Happy Birthday’ goes viral

Little boy is delighted by family singing him “Happy Birthday”

A video of 3-year-old Rhett Flener's reaction to his family singing him "Happy Birthday" has been viewed more than 75 million times. Rhett, whose family is from Bowling Green, Ky., was born with Down Syndrome,
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A video of 3-year-old Rhett Flener's reaction to his family singing him "Happy Birthday" has been viewed more than 75 million times. Rhett, whose family is from Bowling Green, Ky., was born with Down Syndrome,

Hearing his family sing “Happy Birthday” and blowing out the candle on his homemade cake got a precious reaction from a little Kentucky boy, and his mom’s video of the moment has spread the joy to millions of people.

Rhett Flener, of Bowling Green, turned 3 on New Years Day, and he was clearly delighted with the celebration.

The video his mom, Lee Ann Flener, shared on Facebook had been viewed 75 million times by Friday night.

Good Morning America picked up the story, as did the family’s hometown television station, WBKO.

Flener said Rhett’s older brother, who is 4 and a half, suggested that they make Rhett a purple cake, since it’s his favorite color.

Rhett, who has Down Syndrome, uses sign language a lot, but his mom said “purple” is one of the words he speaks with regularity.

When the time came to blow out his candle, Flener said Rhett was ready. “We’ve been working on blowing on his food when it’s hot,” she said. “We’ve been really practicing on that.”

Flener, a public school teacher, said it’s been fun and surprising to see how many people responded to the video.

“You think your child is cute,” she said. “For so many people to think the same thing is just crazy.”

Rhett has enjoyed it himself.

“He gets tickled just watching it,” Flener said.

Flener said she loves being able to spread the message of finding happiness in little things.

“Something as simple as singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to someone can bring so much joy,” she said. “I think that’s what the world needs a little more of these days.”

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