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Mom Recalls How Compassionate Words Saved Her​ Son's Life
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Mom Recalls How Compassionate Words Saved Her​ Son's Life

12.15.2021

​​Rare Cup of Coffee Results in an Encouraging Encounter for EMS Assistant Director

Floyd EMS Assistant Director Robby Hill is not a coffee connoisseur. In fact, he's never really had a taste for the stuff. But, one recent cold morning, Robby decided to start his day early with a cup of joe, a decision that resulted in an encouraging, if humbling, encounter that powerfully illustrates the value of our presence and our words.

After a sleepless night, Robby stopped at a convenience store on his way into work. It was cold, about 4:45 in the morning. Robby was getting his coffee when a woman, also getting coffee, asked him if he was Robby. First responders are sometimes hesitant to acknowledge their identity, especially to strangers. Their encounters with people often come at times of tragedy when outcomes are unpredictable or already devastating. Robby cautiously acknowledged his name.

“You probably don't remember," the woman began, “but you were in a call at my house several years ago."

Over the next few minutes, she shared her story. Her teenaged son was deeply depressed. A few months earlier his father had ended his own life. The family's life had been turned upside down. She feared that her son was considering the same. She didn't know what to do, so she called an ambulance. Robby was one of the responders.

Robby rode in the back of the ambulance with the young man to the hospital, she explained, talking with her son the whole time. That ambulance ride was a life-changer and likely a lifesaver for her son, the woman told him. At the hospital, the young man told his mother that he wanted to be like Robby. Today, her son is married father of two, who works as a paramedic in another state.

“You saved my son's life," she told Robby, both in tears. She bought Robby's coffee that morning and hugged his neck before heading out of the door.

Robby said he doesn't remember the encounter, which happened nearly two decades ago, but he is certain God gave him the words to say at the time, just as he's certain his sudden desire for an early-morning cup of coffee was for a reason.

“If I hadn't taken to drinking coffee, I may have never known this story," Robby said. “The only thing I can say is keep compassion and empathy for everyone. You never know when a kind word may save a life." 

​About Atrium Health Floyd
Since 1942, Floyd, now Atrium Health Floyd, has worked to provide affordable, accessible care in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Today, Atrium Health Floyd is a leading medical provider and economic force. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation's leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. At the hub of these services is Floyd Medical Center, a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center. Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,400 employees who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia; Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia, as well as Floyd Behavioral Health Center, a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility, also in Rome; and a primary care and urgent care network with locations throughout the service area of northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama.