When life throws a curveball, the way we choose to respond to the unforeseen situation can bring out the best or the worst in us. When a woman from Florida lost her toddler son to an accident, the way she dealt with the tragedy became a source of strength to those who were present.
Michael Robinson, who was part of the Sheriff’s Civil Office at the Marion County Judicial Center in Ocala and who recently retired from 35 years in law enforcement, shared a page from one day of his life in a Facebook post.
“One of the things I pray for when I go to work is that the Lord would direct my paths and prepare me to minister to people that I come in contact with,” he began. On July 20, 2007, as Robinson arrived at the Sheriff’s Civil Office in the late afternoon, he was asked to handle a child custody order that was 10 miles outside his assigned zone.
However, on the way to the residence, a dispatcher was trying to contact another deputy through the radio, who wasn’t available, so Robinson, who “could tell from a voice in the background that something was wrong,” immediately pulled up the dispatch screen and found from the call that a vehicle had possibly killed a 3-year-old child. Luckily, Robinson was close by to the accident spot and responded to the situation.
Upon arriving at the scene, Robinson recalls that he saw “two women were kneeling over a child’s body that was lying in the roadway,” he said. Robinson then immediately sprang into action.
He found out that a distraught 71-year-old woman driver had hit a child named Ethan.
Ethan, who was playing with a small soccer ball in the garage with his older brother Chase, had rushed to the street that Friday afternoon after their ball had rolled down, while his mother, Cathi, was preparing the front porch for his birthday party. Unfortunately, the driver, who was blinded by sunlight, hadn’t seen little Ethan in the middle of the street “until it was too late.”
As the terrifying scene unfolded, Cathi, who was 35 years old at that time, started to administer CPR on her son while also contacting the EMS dispatcher on the phone. In trying to aid the anxious mom, Robinson supported her by performing chest compressions on Ethan, whilst Cathi began to breathe air into Ethan’s mouth in order to save his life.
Not long after, an ambulance arrived at the scene, and a paramedic rushed to assist the little boy and tried to resuscitate him. As Robinson observed the tragic events unfold that day, he then went up to the visibly shaken elderly woman and gave her a hug in a way to reassure her.
Meanwhile, Cathi arrived with Chase, then 4, from inside their house, and they made “prayer hands” and asked if Robinson and the older woman would be interested in joining her. “She knelt down with her son, lifting her hands to the Lord, while I stood with my hand on her right shoulder and the driver stood with her hand on her left shoulder and we prayed silently,” Robinson said.
After a few moments, the Florida Patrol Highway (FHP) arrived at the accident spot to investigate. By then, one of the paramedics had indicated to Robinson that Ethan wasn’t going to survive. The anxious mother “instead of going to the ambulance where her son was, she went to where the driver was standing and hugged her in an attempt to console her,” Robinson recalled.
Robinson and all those who responded to the call—a few deputies, some doctors and nurses, an Ocala Police officer who was off duty but lived in the neighborhood, FHP troopers, EMS personnel, and several fire rescue—were inspired by the strength that Cathi showed.
Robinson concluded his touching post by writing: “Many tragedies like this that I’ve responded to bring out the worst in people. I saw the best come out of Cathi.”
Additionally, the 75 people who took part in aiding with the unfortunate accident were also touched by the life of Ethan. As for the elderly woman, Robinson told The Epoch Times via email: “[I] recall that she was broken and distraught, even with Cathi’s response. The woman’s husband eventually showed up to take her home further down the block,” he added, “it was a sad day for everyone that was there.”
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