MILTON — Kathy Robinson can best describe her son, Santa Rosa County Deputy Matthew Robinson, by telling this story.

After being kept under observation in the intensive care unit at West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, Matt was finally moved to a room, which he shared with an elderly man.

One night, the man refused to eat anything for dinner.

"When (the nurse) left, Matthew got very upset," Kathy said.

Unable to speak clearly after suffering a stroke, his family couldn't understand what was bothering him.

"Finally, we figured out he was worried about that man, who wasn't getting anything to eat," Kathy said. "He had some pudding over there, and he said, 'Give pudding'.

"That's Matthew. That's how he is."

The eight-year deputy was admitted into the hospital on March 12.

While making his rounds as the School Resource Deputy at Milton High School, Matt, 38, began showing symptoms of a possible stroke.

He was taken to West Florida Hospital in Pensacola where doctors confirmed he suffered a stroke and diagnosed him with a brain bleed.

He was admitted to their intensive care unit and underwent treatment and testing for the therapy he now has to endure.

Robinson is currently undergoing three different types of therapy at West Florida Hospital: speech, occupational, and physical.

“His speech has vastly improved,” Matt’s mother Kathy Robinson said. “It’s not anywhere near where it needs to be, but we can understand him pretty well now. Before, we couldn’t understand him at all.”

Slowly but surely, Matt can now walk, Kathy said. But his right side hand and arm are still limited.

“The therapist said it’s like his hand doesn’t even feel like it’s there,” Kathy said. "... He can't hold onto small things."

Kathy said the road will be long, but Matt should eventually be able to return to work.

The community almost immediately became involved in Matt's situation knowing that Matt's wife Tabitha will not be working for the next couple of weeks and the couple have children to care for.

"As his mother, I can tell you this is the hardest thing I've ever been through in my whole life," Kathy said. "But to see the love and support that they have gotten has just blessed me tremendously."

Currently, Tabitha updates the community about Matt's progress through a Facebook group called Matt Robinson Updates, which has 743 members as of this writing.

"Matthew is a very loving, kind, sweet guy," Kathy said. "... Everybody knows him and everybody likes him."

Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy said although they've had to fill Matt's position, the opportunity remains for him to return to the Sheriff's Office.

"He's one of the happy, always in a good mood deputy well-loved in the community as an SRO," Aloy said. "... It's a shame that he's going to be out, and we certainly wish him the best and hope he gets back soon."

Due to medical and travel expenses added with missed work by both Matt and his wife, a GoFundMe was created to help relieve the family's financial burden. The GoFundMe link is

Those who wish to give to the family can also donate at any Santa Rosa County Federal Credit Union by stating that the money is for Matt Robinson.