Nearly a year after her son's heat-related death, Denham Springs mom on a mission to prevent similar tragedies
DENHAM SPRINGS - Ashley Roberson has felt every emotion possible in the 316 days since her son, Remy, died, days after collapsing at football practice.
"I go from crying to screaming to laughing when I think about him and his memory," Roberson said. Looking at pictures of him, they're sad, but they're happy because they're happy memories. He lived life to the fullest."
Even after his September 18 death, Remy surrounds his mother in her home. A curio cabinet is filled with mementos from his earliest years to football gear from his final days.
"I just stop and look at it all the time," Roberson said.
In the nearly one year since his death, she's found a new purpose: trying to prevent similar tragedies from striking again.
"I immediately decided I needed to do something with my time and not just sit around and cry," Roberson said. "Which is what I would have done."
That something Roberson mentions is advocacy. She's pushing schools to have better procedures and resources to handle heat-related injuries.
"I just want everybody to be aware," Roberson said. "It's 100% preventable. It's 100% survivable. It just has to be handled correctly."
She has since launched a foundation in Remy's name, raising money to provide cold immersion tubs and wet bulb globe thermometers, which measure heat stress, to high schools.
"I have now donated 14 tubs to schools, mostly in Baton Rouge," Roberson said. "I donated two in Lake Charles, and recently three in New Orleans."
She always delivers the donations personally, making sure to talk with coaches, players, and trainers. Sharing her experience, and Remy's story proves therapeutic.
As the capital area continues to see days of heat advisories and excessive heat warnings, her message, and her mission, becomes that much more important.
"I think they need to concentrate more on hydrating these kids, letting them take the breaks they need to take," Roberson said. Maybe not pushing them as hard. I know it's football and they need to be pushed to some extent, but I think they really to just change protocols."
Eleven months ago, Roberson didn't know much about heat stroke or actions to take when symptoms present themselves. Now she is the one advising friends and strangers how to handle it, most recently in phone calls and text messages earlier this week.
Just weeks ahead of kick-off, for what would've been Remy's senior football season, she has memories, but also her newfound purpose.
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