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Boy will get police escort to open-heart surgical procedure

WHITMAN – Nathaniel Rodman, known affectionately as Nate the Great, had a tough time when he was one year old.

The 1-year-old Whitman boy was born with multiple heart and kidney defects that required multiple surgeries, including open heart surgery, when he was only 5 weeks old.

Nathaniel’s parents should expect he would likely need five more open heart surgeries in his life.

One of these – Nathaniel’s second in less than two years of age – was held Wednesday at Boston Children’s Hospital.

And Nathaniel received special escort for this operation, thanks to some friends of his father’s. His father, Matthew Rodman, has been a Randolph cop for over seven years.

The Randolph and Whitman Police Department has teamed up with officials from many other local departments to provide escort from the family home in Whitman to the Boston Hospital.

In addition to officers from Randolph and Whitman, shortly after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, members of the Quincy, Weymouth, Stoughton, Canton and Braintree Police Departments attended the early morning escort.

And the operation was a success.

“Nate’s operation was a huge success,” said his father in a public Facebook post on Wednesday night. “The surgeon was able to carry out all the necessary repairs and his heart function is perfect !!”

Last week officials made a special badge for Nathaniel to identify him as an honorary officer. It has his nickname Nate the Great on it. Nathaniel wore it on his way to the hospital Wednesday morning.

“The escort was a way to recognize Nathanial for the tremendous courage he has shown in his life and to distract the family from everything for a few minutes before entering the hospital to begin this latest procedure,” said Randolph Police Officer Kevin Gilbert said, “We have done escorts like this before and it is always easy to find officers willing to attend. We really have an amazing network of passionate officers in this area.”

Some of the officers who attended the escort were classmates from Matthew Rodman’s Police College, which made the event all the more personal for them.

The Whitman Police Department assisted with traffic control and gave advice on the best ways to get the escort into and out of the house.

Whitman toddler Nathaniel Rodman with mother Kristine Rodman will follow the Rodman family's police escort to Boston Children's Hospital on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

“This entire event was a group effort between the Randolph Police, Whitman Police and surrounding authorities. It shows that we are always ready to serve a family in need,” said Gilbert. “Nathaniel is a fighter and we are confident that he will come out of this operation in amazing shape.”

Stoughton cop Dan Barber, who also included Officer Al Medeiros, said he attended because cops like Matthew Rodman are always there when people need them most.

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that cops are real people, with real families and real struggles of their own,” said Barber. “It was incredibly enjoyable to be part of the community that was there for him and his family when they needed it.”

The company’s senior reporter, Cody Shepard, can be reached by email at You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.