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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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

37 of 55 stories