Easing emotional strain

The 22-year-old man had an exciting future.

He had just been offered a full football scholarship to the University of Arkansas and was driving there when he fell asleep at the wheel. After the wreck, emergency crews brought him to Holston Valley Medical Center.

Though none of his injuries were life-threatening, this promising young athlete had injured his right quadriceps tendon, an injury that changed his plans entirely.

After he called his football coach, the patient found out he was no longer eligible for his scholarship.

"It's hard to see a young man cry," said Katrina Lloyd, one of the co-workers who cared for him. "But all of us drew around him with arms of love and comfort, and we tried to ease his emotional distress as best we could."

Co-workers looked after the patient until his mother arrived the next morning. When she got to Holston Valley, she was not only personally greeted in the lobby, but learned the team had arranged for her to have a room in the hospitality house. They had also collected $160 for him to pay for his post-operative medications.

"We can't control what happens to him in the future," Lloyd said. "But we can control what happened while he was here, and we wanted that to be the best experience possible."