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Fla. first responders buy groceries for woman struggling to pay medical bills

First responders performed a welfare check after the woman told a healthcare worker she was unable to buy food after having surgery

Tiffini Theisen
Orlando Sentinel

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida deputy and emergency responders went to Publix and used their own money to buy food for a woman who couldn’t afford groceries because her medical bills were so high after surgery, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The Spring Hill woman told responders she felt faint Wednesday because it had been a while since she’d eaten.

She had surgery on February 8 after a car accident, and as the medical bills piled up, she couldn’t afford food, she said.

She was too weak to drive to the grocery store, anyway.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Ramos went to the resident’s home to check on her after a local health care facility employee called law enforcement, worried because the patient had told them she had no food.

Ramos asked for backup from Hernando County Fire Rescue after the woman told him she felt like she was going to pass out.

Ramos and fire rescuers drove to Publix to buy her food that fell within her dietary restrictions.

“When the first responders delivered the groceries to the resident, she began to tear up,” the sheriff’s office wrote on its Facebook page. “She thanked the personnel from Hernando County Fire Rescue and Deputy Ramos for their generosity.”

The department added: “The health care facility overseeing the resident’s home health care is making arrangements for long-term services regarding groceries.”


©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)