Loved ones, colleagues honor 21-year-old Lee County EMT after unexpected death

An EMT who had his whole life ahead of him died suddenly, but in death, he gave others a chance at life.

Lee County EMT Royland “Roy” Vidal, 21, is still giving back to his community after death thanks to organ donation.

EMT Royland “Roy” Vidal. (Credit: Lee County Department of Public Safety)

March 12, Vidal suffered a medical emergency at home and died two days later. His community and his family gathered Wednesday to honor his life during a memorial service in Estero.

A Lee County EMS station in south Cape Coral is forever changed by the positivity, relaxed but eager attitude of Vidal.

People who went to the service in his honor know he’s gone, but his contagious smile and energy will stay with them.

“He was such a selfless character,” said paramedic Jason Lane, Vidal’s Lee County EMS partner. “And man, I hope my kids grow up to be like him.”

Vidal will always be remembered as a caring, kind and genuine gentleman.

“At the end of the day, Roy was my best friend,” said Alyssa Hartzell, Roy’s girlfriend. “And he taught me everything I know about unconditional love.”

In December 2019, Vidal joined the Lee County Department of Emergency Management where he quickly became an EMT.

For a year, Vidal rushed to help save lives, working at two stations in south Cape Coral, with a dream of becoming a flight medic.

“He’s a world changer,” Lane said. “I’m a better man because of our time together.”

Through organ donation, Vidal will continue serving and saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donations.

Wednesday, Vidal’s coworkers filled seats for his gathering, heartbroken to say goodbye to their happy, eager and inspiring friend.

“You are a good man on a journey to find your truth, doing what he loves,” Lane said. “I am proud to be a part of that journey, grateful for the times that we cherished, the memories we made, the laughs that we shared. I will hold you close to my heart my friend.”

“This has rocked my universe, but I see life through his eyes now and, man, is it beautiful,” Hartzell said.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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