Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Frank Vaughters, MD

In my sophomore year in high school we got a new kid named Frank Vaughters. He quickly ran for sophomore class president and won. Then he got down to the work of high school and ultimately went to Pomona and to medical school. He moved back to the midwest and began a practice in Kansas City. He started a clinic to help kids in need called Turner House. He then began working in Haiti to help poorest kids there.

From what I have read Frank was a pretty remarkable doctor. He went door to door when he started the clinic to find out what people needed. According to the Kansas City Star he treated 450 patients the first year and about 4,000 this year. “It’s safe to say that, because of Frank Vaughters, literally tens of thousands of children in this area have received medical treatment they otherwise may not have gotten.” said the Star.

Frank and I were in Key Club together and for at least the sophomore year we did a lot of stuff together. He tried to talk me into going out for football and I tried to talk him into going out for wrestling. But after our sophomore year, we really never did anything together again.

I began to read about Frank after the Haitian earthquake and last week they identified that he had been killed in the hotel he was staying in. USA Today quoted his sister as saying she was glad to have some finality - "It's as if I was walking through waist-deep water every day," says Lucy Vaughters, the sister of Frank Vaughters, a Kansas City pediatrician whose remains were found at the Hotel Montana on Feb. 26. "It's like an unfinished feeling. … After a while, you want it to be finished."

In a sense when the story broke I was pleased to have known Frank. As noted above I was not close to him after that one year in high school. But it is great to see when a contemporary lives a life fulfilled that is of service to others.


Kathe said...

Frank Vaughters was truly remarkable in his work and his passions: his family, his practice, and his work to help women and children in Haiti. A memorial fund has been set up to continue funding his work to help women and children in Haiti. To learn more, go to: https://gkccfonlinedonations.org/vaughters/vaughters.asp

Meribeth said...

Well said. I had the opportunity to visit PV High School with him several years ago, and he spoke of some of his close buddies, you being one of them. He certainly did live a life of service to others - remarkable indeed. I hope you will consider giving to the memorial fund.