Earnest Vaughns' Smiles for Shoulders
Team Member: Nicole Cater
Ahh...If only he was Super Earnest
October 05, 2016
Darcey Sebolt wrote -
The Importance of Being Earnest
Earnest Vaughns is a happy man. But he is much more than that. He is a father to a teenage son. He is a Christian. He is a poet. He is a lover of art, an appreciator of nature’s blessings. He likes comics and science fiction, but is just as comfortable holding a conversation about classical literature. He loves his friends deeply, with a loyalty that doesn’t usually happen often. He is proud and humble at the same time. Like most people, he lives his faith and fights for causes he believes in. He is 39 years old.
Every morning, he leaves his one room apartment in his low income complex with a smile on his face. He is feeling much better after his two week quarantine with pneumonia. He walks more than a mile to his minimum wage job with a barely noticeable limp. He hasn’t needed his cane for months. He’s had two hip replacements in the last year. He was lucky to even get the job, as he was hired right before his second surgery was scheduled and they held the position for him. He loves his job, his co-workers and the customers. The only problem is heavy items on high shelves. He needs both his shoulders replaced too.
Earnest has Avascular Necrosis. It is a condition where the blood vessels don’t adequately supply the joints and cause bone death. This is sometimes brought on by other diseases, like Sickle Cell Anemia, Lupus, or by long term steroid use or serious trauma. Earnest has none of those factors. In fact, his case is so unique; it was published in a medical journal. In a just society, no one would doubt that our Social Security Disability system was designed for people like him. But the shoddy note taking and incomplete understanding of his medical issues by his Medicaid doctor left him denied time and time again.
But if you think this has caused him to be bitter, you don’t know Earnest. He takes pleasure in walking where he can. He meticulously maps out his days when he has to rely on busses. He is always ready with a smile and a kind word for anyone. He can be just as touched by an object of beauty as that of the written word. If you are his friend, you are for life and he will treat you with the love and affection that only decades can build. If you are just meeting him, he is already your best friend, accommodating your every need. There are many worthy causes in this world, no one can deny that.
But surely one good man who has had, is still having, will always have a challenging life is worth a little of your consideration. Don’t help because you feel sorry for this genuinely happy man. Help because he needs new shoulders. Help because he spends his days helping what could be any of our grandparents find the healthcare products they need and then goes home to eat Ramen noodles. Help because Earnest just deserves it.