Minnesota restaurant staff surprise deaf co-worker with birthday song in sign language

Employees at a restaurant in Minnesota surprised their deaf co-worker with a special gift for his birthday.

Erick Curry, who’s worked as a busser and barback at Yard House in St. Louis Park for four and a half years, lost his hearing when he was three months old from spinal meningitis.

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"Erick is a breath of fresh air,” Kimberly Goettsche, one of Curry’s co-workers, told Fox 9. “He works with his disability with a smile and he's just easy, an easygoing soul."

His fellow employees usually communicate with him through written messages, but for Curry’s birthday they wanted to make sure he felt loved and appreciated.

"I just thought it was important to show a team member that he is more than cared about on the floor,” said Goettsche. “He's cared about as a person, as a friend, as a family."

Thirteen of Curry’s fellow Yard House employees learned to sign the happy birthday song and recorded themselves doing it in front of the restaurant, then posted the video on Curry’s Facebook page.

"It was a mix of emotions,” Curry told Fox 9. “I couldn't stop crying. It was so great that they did that for me. I love it. I love that feeling. It’s like a family."

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Some of Curry’s co-workers were inspired to learn more sign language so they can better communicate with him.

"He deserves it,” Goettsche said. “He deserves to be able to be communicated with in the language he knows and that's sign language."