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Beyond the call: Bringing a man home to mourn his wife

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Beyond the call - AdventHealth's mission in action

When tragedy struck Antonio Usher, of Cedartown, no one could have ever expected how a team of AdventHealth EMS workers would go far beyond the call of duty. In October 2023, Usher and his wife were traveling to Panama City, FL, for a much-needed vacation. As they were passing through Columbus, GA, the couple was involved in a motorcycle crash that left his life completely wrecked.

Usher’s wife died at the scene while he was rushed to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, GA. He doesn’t remember much from the crash, but he does remember waking up at the hospital. He remembers trying to assess the situation, struggling to speak and being informed his wife had passed away in the crash. Usher broke a femur and shoulder and had jarred intestines from the force of the crash. He needed to relearn how to walk, talk and live his life again.

Thanks to the due diligence of the EMS team at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital, they got in touch with Usher’s mother, who begged for her son to be brought closer to home. The care team was unsure what to do, and Usher wasn’t capable of standing up for himself, neither figuratively nor literally. He was able to use his fine motor skills to brush his teeth, and he was aware of his surroundings. But he couldn’t convince their team to send him to AdventHealth Redmond, where his mother insisted he should be sent.

Through the sheer will and determination of his mother’s endless calling, James (Marty) Robinson, EMS Director for AdventHealth Redmond, talked with the EMS staff in Columbus and made arrangements to send his paramedics to Columbus to get Usher and transport him home.

Back in Rome, Usher stayed at AdventHealth Redmond for two months while healing from his injuries. Despite being back in Rome, Usher hadn’t seen the last of AdventHealth paramedics. Robinson worked with AdventHealth Redmond’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit liaison, nurses, director, manager, and other rehab staff to make arrangements to transport Usher to his wife’s funeral and gravesite.

"When I was contacted about Mr. Usher’s situation, it was really a no-brainer,” said Robinson. “Mr. Usher had experienced a tragic event. Our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ. As part of this mission, Mr. Usher needed our services to help him heal and move toward feeling whole again. It was really a small gesture in light of the tragedy he had suffered. The EMS team was more than willing to do this for him.”

Antonio Usher and James Robinson

Paramedics Hobie Altman and Elia Lucas-Vail to transport Usher to his wife’s funeral and gravesite. Altman and Lucas-Vail even stayed with him while he mourned the loss of his wife.

For Robinson, the entire EMS team and the hospital, it’s stories like Usher’s that continues to give them the fuel they need to deliver whole person care.

Usher says he is “forever indebted to AdventHealth Redmond and Mr. Robinson. They went above and beyond with their job, and I have never seen or heard of anything done like that before. I am extremely grateful, and I appreciate everything AdventHealth Redmond has done for me – they saved my life.”

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