To say that I feel fortunate to be a part of the Srote & Co family would be a drastic understatement. I am so proud to be a part of this team and the work we produce, but mostly, I am proud of the people we are and what we stand for. For the past 19 months we have been working to design and build a home for paralyzed Rock Hill Police Officer – Matt Crosby.
JANUARY 2017 – HOW WE GOT INVOLVED
It started like every other morning- straight to the coffee pot and then to turn on the morning news for the weather and list of current accidents on 270. In general, the morning news serves as background noise but that day something caught my attention. It was an announcement for a Dine Out Event. This was January 2017 so I assumed the next words I heard would be “for Ballwin Police Office, Mike Flamion.” But instead they said “Rock Hill Police Officer, Matt Crosby.” My heart sank! I thought that another St. Louis officer had just been shot. I immediately went online to get more information and came across an article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Matt Crosby had not just been shot. In fact, he was shot nearly 7 years prior in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
As soon as I made it to the office that morning I shared what little I knew about Matt’s story with Dave Schaub and Robert Srote. I told them I wasn’t sure how I could help or even how to go about helping but wanted their okay to donate my time or services in whatever capacity they could be used. Without hesitation they told me absolutely and before I had figured out how to get in touch with the Crosby’s, Dave and Robert had decided that they would like to offer their architectural services if they were needed.
APRIL 8th, 2010 – THE SHOOTING
It was just another night on patrol for Officer Crosby until a domestic disturbance call came through in the late night hours. Crosby responded with his partner, Lt. Jorden Lewis. Upon arrival, they spotted the suspect as he ran back into his apartment. Crosby and Lewis approached the door, knocked and waited on the landing below. The suspect emerged with his hands at his side and then shot down at the officers with a .380. One bullet grazed Matt’s head, the other lodged in his spine. As a result of his injuries Matt is paralyzed from his chest down and his life and the life of his family has been forever changed.
A LONG ROAD AHEAD
To say the past 8 years have been difficult for the Crosby family would be an understatement. Matt has endured many setbacks and struggles and the psychological and physical healing continues today. As recently as July 2016, after a pressure wound developed under his leg from being left unattended too many nights in his wheelchair, Matt found himself at Mercy Hospital St. Louis for the first of three surgeries that would be required. When Dave, Robert and myself visited Matt for the first time in January of 2017, he was still bedridden recovering from these surgeries. He had literally spent the past 6 months of his life, in the back bedroom of his rental house, laying on his side. He was mentally and physically exhausted but still he remained hopeful. Mostly due to a group of family, friends and complete strangers that call themselves The Crosby Crew, the very same group that organized the Dine Out Event that caught my attention!!! This amazing group of volunteers continue to raise funds and awareness on Matt’s behalf today.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Today Matt Crosby and his family’s lives are changing! Construction is underway on his new home and the foundation is nearing completion! This build truly is a labor of love and a testament to the spirit of St. Louis and its residents. In the years since Matt’s injury the Crosby’s have reached out to various organizations in an effort to provide him with an accessible home but to no avail. With no corporate sponsors or major donors associated with this effort we have turned to our local community to make this dream a reality. Dozens of local businesses have stepped up to give back and get involved in any way they can. As one of the people in our office who takes these calls I can tell you that I have been moved to tears by the generosity that has been extended.
GET BUSY LIVING, OR GET BUSY DYING
The line from Matt’s favorite movie is much more than a quote, it is the way he is living his life these days. Matt is in a unique situation and is using his experience to help others who would otherwise have no one that could relate to what they are going through. I firmly believe it was no coincidence that while Matt was at Mercy recovering from the first surgery on his pressure wound, a police officer from Ballwin was being rushed to the same hospital with severe gunshot wounds that would ultimately leave him paralyzed. That police officer was Mike Flamion. Matt met with Officer Flamion’s family and in many ways counseled them on what lay ahead. Shortly after that experience, Matt found himself reaching out to the wife of Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor after he was left paralyzed in an on duty traffic accident. It is hard to say what is in store for Matt Crosby in the coming years but today he is upbeat, positive, and an active participant in a life he is so thankful to have. In a recent post on the Friends of Officer Matt Crosby Facebook page, Matt had this to share –
“Today is my ALIVE day! 8 years ago today my life changed in the blink of an eye. I’ve endured so much during these last 8 years, but I am still standing (hold the jokes LOL). I’ve learned a lot about family, friends and definitely, myself! I’ve reignited my relationship with God and look at life in a whole different way. I thank God for keeping me on this earth and for blessing me with such amazing family and friends, without whom I wouldn’t be in such a positive place today! I feel I still have so much to offer the world. I strive to better myself and to be a better person everyday. Life is short people. So get busy living, while you still can! Live, love & laugh! “
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
Donations are still needed. A page has been set up for all material and labor donations on the Schaub & Co Architects – Officer Crosby Page.
To find out more about the Crosby Crew – Crosby Crew website or the Friends of Officer Matt Crosby Facebook page click on the links provided.
To stay up to date on the progress of the build follow Srote & Co on Instagram and Facebook for weekly construction updates.
To learn more about Matt Crosby’s journey click on the links provided below –
Rock Hill police officer: ‘I’m still alive’
Paralyzed Rock Hill officer spends first year trying to cope
Confined to bed, disabled former Rock Hill police officer feels forgotten
Volunteers rallying to raise money for paralyzed Rock Hill officer
Cops and citizens look to help paralyzed Rock Hill officer with home improvements
Paralyzed Rock Hill officer to receive smart home
Groundbreaking for former Rock Hill officer’s accessible home