Arab High School
Robby was born to a young, single mother and adopted on the day of his birth by his maternal grandparents. He was born with a congenital disorder called ectrodactyly, which involves the absence of one or more central digits of the hand or foot. When he was in the fourth grade, both of his grandparents passed away. Robby’s biological mother assumed care of him. At age 13, he contracted an infection in his leg, which led to hospitalization. Two days after his admission, his mother abandoned him in the hospital. He spent months receiving IV antibiotics and undergoing three different surgeries as the infection spread. Upon discharge, he was placed in a group home.
At age 14, Robby was placed with a foster family in the town of Arab. He lived with three families in total before being adopted by Bill and Sharon Bailey at age 17. Once he settled in Arab High School, he flourished. Nominator Michelle Aldaz, a registered nurse and health instructor wrote of Robby, “He is respected and admired by his classmates and is a thought-leader in the classroom.”
Robby is a member of his school’s Robotics Club. In fact, he received the “Gracious Professionalism” Award at the 2012 Robotics Convention. He is also a member of the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) and competed in the team event at the 2014 HOSA State Conference.
A member of Oleander Methodist Church, Robby volunteers for Thursday’s Child, a special needs summer camp. He delivers health presentations to younger male students in his community. As a member of the Advanced Healthcare class, he attends clinicals several times each week in various clinics. “He dresses and conducts himself professional provides compassionate care to people of all ages, races and religions,” Ms. Aldaz wrote.
Assistant principal Brad Cooper said of him, “I can attest that Robby is not one to back down from a challenge, either academic or professional. He finishes what he starts and never lets adversity get him down.”
Robby plans to pursue a career in healthcare. Misti Welborn, a registered nurse and instructor in the Health Science Program at his school wrote, “I am confident that Robby will be an asset as a healthcare provider of tomorrow.”
There are those who enter this world facing difficulties to overcome. Robby is one who refused defeat. For his determination and achievements, Robby Bailey is recognized by his school and our state as one of the 2014 Young Heroes of Alabama.