Last night, after dropping off Robby for a party I settled into the sofa and turned on the news. I caught the tail end of the broadcast, which was probably advantageous because the end is the portion that features happier stories. (It seems that the feel good stories are becoming shorter and more sparse, but perhaps that is a topic for another blog.) At the end of last night's broadcast I watched a clip highlighting a young farmer who was receiving a prosthetic arm created by some high school students.
First of all, I must applaud the students' (and
their teachers) efforts in designing a device to help their neighbor.
My faith in humanity is always boosted whenever I hear of a community
pulling together to help a friend in need. The students took on a
herculean task by designing and creating a 3-d printed functional below
elbow prosthesis for their neighbor. The story ended with the image of
the recipient hugging his children for the first time while wearing his
newly presented device.
I am sure that the story filled the goal
of ending the newscast on a positive note. I felt conflicted by the
reporting because I felt that yet another opportunity was missed.
Nowhere in the story was the reason the farmer was dependent upon high
school students to create a prosthetic device for him perhaps because
that side of reality isn't nearly as glitzy or feel good. Without
knowing the specifics, it is safe to assume that he could not afford a
new prosthetic device.
Don't get me wrong, I love that these
students solved a problem for their neighbor. But let's not forget the
true issue. Too many people in this country are at the mercy of the
goodwill of others in order to receive their medically prescribed
prosthetic devices. Increasing numbers of amputees are being disabled by
their financial situation more than by the limbs that they are
I feel like, yet again, an opportunity to bring this
plight to the forefront was lost. Perhaps if the story were more than a
soundbite, the true issue could have been presented. Of course, then it
wouldn't be the light feel good story at the end of the news.