Our Stories

Sheri’s Colleagues Gave Her Hope After a Devastating Loss


Sheri Tolbert is a New Patient Scheduler and has worked at HCA Healthcare for about four years. She assists patients with providing background information and demographics as well as scheduling their procedures.

Her husband, Tony, had been having some odd symptoms lately, but he was convinced it was just gallbladder trouble. Though Sheri kept reminding him to see a doctor about it, she says “I don’t mind saying he was a very stubborn man.” The two had what their friends describe as a fairy tale story – they dated in high school, then went their separate ways. They found each other again thirty years later and were happily married on 9/10/11.

One day just as Sheri was about to leave work, her phone rang. It was her brother-in-law calling from her husband’s phone. He asked her if she was sitting down. Sheri says “I was thinking maybe Tony got hurt or he was in the hospital. When he told me that Tony had passed away, I just kept saying no, you’re not right, this can’t be.” She remembers just laying her phone down and crying.

Tony had a sudden heart attack while doing maintenance work with his brother. “He was fine that morning, and gone that afternoon,” Sheri said. “It’s still devastating to me today. When you lose your soulmate, and it happens so suddenly that you don’t even get to say goodbye – that is a pain you can’t describe.” Sheri says they didn’t have life insurance – they knew it was something they should set up, they had some phone numbers they were planning to call, but they hadn’t proceeded with anything yet.

“I had very little money in the bank. I’m a breast cancer survivor, and that treatment was very expensive, so I didn’t have any savings. I had to make arrangements for Tony with the money I had set aside for my rent and car payment. I almost lost my car and my home because of it. I paid everything I had down on a cremation, and it wasn’t enough. I didn’t know what I was going to do, or how I was going to make ends meet.”

Sheri’s supervisor Debbie recommended the Hope Fund. Sheri says “It helped me get back on my feet. I was so happy to be blessed by my colleagues. I want others to know the Hope Fund is there for them. If you face a tragedy or devastation, give the Hope Fund a chance. They want to help you. There are people who care and contribute to this fund. We never know when devastation will come into our lives, and none of us are invincible. Reach out to the Hope Fund – that’s what it’s there for.”

You may also like...

After suffering a stroke, our colleagues helped Tianna care for her mom

Tianna, a Lead Patient Care Tech at Trident Medical Center in South Carolina, received a call she…

Read more