OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Support is growing for a beloved Auburn Police Officer who needs a wheelchair-accessible bedroom and bathroom after suffering a medical catastrophe.
Retired Auburn Police Officer Mike “Robo” Roberson spent 28 years serving and protecting the east Alabama community. His bright smile and warm handshake made Robo one of the most approachable officers in town. In addition, he served for 11 years inside Auburn City Schools as a DARE Officer, working with students at Auburn Junior High. Students and teachers adored Officer Robo, and he felt the same way for them. To know Officer Robo is to love him instantly. It’s not a cliché. It’s the truth.
Officer Robo was forced to retire early after suffering a series of medical catastrophes that’s left him and his wife struggling to find a new normal as he continues recovering from a series of debilitating strokes.
Thursday morning, WRBL met with Officer Robo and his wife Jacquelyn at their Opelika home as the community gathers to help him in his time of need. In 2019, Robo suffered a heart attack and had to retire. Robo was devastated to leave his job as a police officer and decided to return part-time in 2020. However, after his first day back, Robo came home feeling tired. The following day, it became apparent Robo had suffered another medical catastrophe.
“He woke up that morning, and something was wrong. His speech was slurred. He asked for a piece of paper and wrote, “I think I had a stroke,” That’s what happened. Two days after, he had two more strokes that left him not able to move anything but his thumb.” said his wife, Jacquelyn Roberson.
Robo spent about a month in the hospital, two weeks in rehab, and then returned to a home that is not wheelchair accessible. It’s been a constant struggle ever since caring for his needs and keep him confortable.
“We just thanked God he was still with us and try to do the best with what we have. Jesus has carried us, ” explained Jacquelyn.
The stroke also robbed Robo of his words. He is working on rebuilding his speech and communicates by writing on a dry-erase board.
“I loved policing. I just loved helping people. I miss my students the most. I miss my Auburn Junior High family and APD Family,” wrote Roberson.
Robo’s wife Jacquelyn is his devoted caregiver, who still works with Macon County Schools as a media and technology specialist in Notasulga. The couple can no longer sleep in the bedroom of their Opelika home because Robo can’t get upstairs. Instead, Robo sleeps in his wheelchair, Jacquelyn by his side in another chair in their first-floor living room. Robo says it would feel wonderful to be able to sleep comfortably in a bed again and take a shower, which he has not been able to do in several months.
Robo’s struggle reached Kim Roberts, Executive Director of the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project. The non-profit group builds and remodels homes for families in need. The group serves mainly in Chambers County, but in 2019 the group reached out to families in Lee County devastated by the March 3 tornadoes and built 18 homes in 7 months for survivors.
Roberts wanted to meet Officer Robo and his wife. Roberts understands what it’s like to have mobility challenges. She’s a double amputee.
“I immediately fell in love with Officer Robo and Ms. Jacquelyn. He is precious, and as a double amputee, I understand where he is coming from. I asked him to tell me what you need, and he said a shower. He hasn’t had a shower in six months,” said Roberts.
The Fuller Center began working with the family, designing a wheelchair-accessible bedroom and bathroom addition for their home. The couple calls Roberts and Robin Pierre with The Fuller Center their angels. The women have moved mountains to rally support behind the couple.
“We need financial help. We need to get this bedroom built to put this family back together. We need a shower for Robo to roll in and come out sparkly clean. We need $40,000, and I know it can happen,” said Roberts.
West Fraser in Opelika, The Kim and Tim Hudson Foundation, local churches, and individuals are already helping. The bedroom/bathroom first-floor remodel plans are drawn, and fundraising efforts are ongoing. Each dollar appreciated and tax-deductible. The Roberson Family remains overcome with gratefulness and emotion.
“It will take a load off. It will make it so much easier for me to care for him. I think it would brighten up his spirit and to be able to move freely and do some things for himself that he can’t do now,” said Jacquelyn.
The goal is to build Robo and his wife wheelchair accessible bedroom and bathroom by the end of the summer, to allow the couple more freedom and joy as Robo continues to heal and rehab after his strokes.
“I want to say thank everyone for the love shown,” wrote Robo.
Friday, an entire community will join the Roberson Family and The Chattahoochee Fuller Center at their home to kick off fundraising efforts. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart, Auburn, Opelika, Valley, Lanett’s police chiefs will also be there. Kim and Tim Hudson hope to stop by, so do Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, and other city leaders.
In addition, WRBL News 3 will be joined by Social Media Personality’s Gator Kincaid of Gator Media and The Bee herself, Ms. April Ross of BeeTV. They are helping us fundraise for the remodel.
This is truly a community effort, and you can be a part of it. Donations are tax-deductible. If you have Cash App, you can donate $OfficerRoberson
You can also mail donations:
The Fuller Center/Officer Roberson
West Point, Georgia 31833
News 3 will, of course, keep you updated as the project to help Officer Robo and his family continues. Thank you for your support.