Published on April 7, 2020 by Sara Roman  
PT Caring for Parents with COVID 19

On Friday, March 27, Matthew Ford, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, learned that one of his students was quarantined at home helping care for both of her parents who had contracted COVID-19. By Saturday morning, he was driving 3.5 hours to deliver needed supplies to the student and her family.

Although neither the student nor her sister had shown any symptoms, they were unable to go to the store to get groceries due to their probability of exposure. In addition, the few stores in their small, rural town had been completely sold out of disinfectant supplies for weeks, a necessity for the student to try to keep herself and her sister from contracting the virus.

Ford didn’t hesitate. He offered to collect supplies in Birmingham and deliver them to the family. Within less than 24 hours, students from cohorts throughout the Department of Physical Therapy, faculty and staff heard about the student’s predicament and donated a full car of supplies to be brought to the student and her family. 

“This university, this school, our department, we are more than a big community,” said Ford. “We are a big family and families take care of one another when there is a need.”

In addition to cleaning supplies and groceries, members of the department donated funds to assist in purchasing gift cards so that the family could also purchase meals to be delivered.

Ford and members of the student’s cohort have continued to check on the student and her family offering encouragement and support.

“I am incredibly proud of the department’s response to this student’s need,” said Alan Jung, professor and School of Health Professions dean. “In the School of Health Professions, we seek to teach students to live out 1 Peter 4:10. This is a beautiful example of servant leadership and what it means to love God, love people and use your gifts for the greater good.”

To view the most recent information about Samford University related to COVID-19, visit our  COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.