I became one of his regulars, going by for my day-brightening hello. Finally, yesterday, after several months of exchanging greetings, I stopped.
“I pass by you all of the time. You never ask for money, but I’m guessing you are here because you need it?”
“Yes, that’s true.” he replied, “But I don’t like to ask.”
The next day he would get his new leg. He told me that with this leg, he would be able to work with some friends who had a business and he was looking forward to that. He told me he would be able to get around much more easily and he was excited about that too. We agreed that I would come by with my camera to help celebrate his big day.
I went by today, and if I thought he was cheerful before, today was something so much more. He sat proudly on his street corner in what looked like a new shirt, new pants and new shoes. And he couldn’t wait to roll up his pants to show off the new leg.
I asked him how it was that he got this new leg. He told me that a woman walking by asked him why he didn’t get a prosthesis. Apparently the hospital his insurance is associated with wouldn’t give him one, something about his weight. He had gone from 320 lbs to 260 lbs, but it was not enough.
Now I don’t know all of the details, but apparently this woman told him to come to Mount Sinai Hospital where she worked, that she could help him get a new leg. Within the month or so, here he is with a titanium, potentially life changing, leg.
Don’t think for a minute I had his full attention while we spoke, it was rush hour and his friends were walking by, calling out hello’s, stopping to share in the joy of his new leg and some eyeing me suspiciously.
I had brought my little Epson travel printer so that I could print his pictures for him on-the-spot. He carefully put them inside his crate.
I look forward to getting to know Griffin (Griff) better as I document his physical transformation, curious to see if, and how, it changes his life.
For my photographer readers… I used Easy Release, a photo/video release app that the subject signs right on your iphone (or ipad). It was my first time and it worked seamlessly.