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Paul Thomas adjusts his name tag at the start of his workday at Old National Bank on Second Street in Henderson. After 17 years as a greeter at the bank, he still loves every day of his job. "I like meeting people," he says. "I can apply myself."

What love for a child can do

story by Carolina Hidalgo

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Peggy Thomas scolds her son, Paul, after he tells her he had a baked potato during his afternoon lunch at Wendy's. Peggy spends hours looking up diabetic-friendly recipes for Paul and is disappointed when he eats things he knows he shouldn't.

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A slew of medications keeps Paul Thomas going. Each morning, he washes down medicine for high blood pressure, asthma, chest pains and diabetes.

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Paul Thomas follows "doctor's orders" by going for walks along his street after getting home from work. The search for pecans around a tree outside his house provides an opportunity for simple exercise.

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Paul Thomas rides from his Uniontown home to his morning job as a greeter at Old National Bank in downtown Henderson.

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Every Thursday, Paul Thomas takes part in a brief excersise class at the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center in Henderson, where he holds a part-time job as part of a program for disabled adults.

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Every morning, Paul Thomas sits at a small table at Old National Bank in Henderson, working as a greeter. The job allows him to meet and interact with people from all walks of life. "Working around educated people has helped him progress a lot," says his mother, Peggy.

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Paul Thomas listens in on a weekly staff meeting at Old National Bank in Henderson, where he works as a greeter. He tries to follow along as Kathy Welden runs through the previous week's banking figures.

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Paul Thomas hangs out with friends at the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center in Henderson, where he participates in a work program for disabled adults. The part-time job allows him to spend time socializing and also provides workers breaks during which they can participate in cooking, excercise and art classes.

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Peggy and Paul Thomas wait to see Paul's clinical audiologist in Evansville, Ind. Following recent trouble with his hearing aid, he is looking forward to having a new one.

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Peggy and Paul Thomas discuss medical insurance issues with Paul's clinical audiologist in Evansville, Ind. The visit resulted in a new mold of Paul's ear canal — the first step to getting a more effective hearing aid.

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Paul Thomas watches as his moyher, Peggy, gets cosmetics suggestions at a Macy's in Evansville, Ind.. They stopped there following Paul's doctor appointment since Peggy said she was running low on makeup.

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Every morning, Peggy Thomas makes breakfast for her 51-year-old son, Paul. She keeps him company on their Uniontown porch while he waits for a bus that will take him into Henderson. To help Paul deal with his mental disability and maintain an active social life, he takes a class at Henderson Community College and works at a bank and a job center for disabled adults.

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