INDIANAPOLIS – Erica Coatney goes above and beyond to help the people in her life.
Caring for others is a top priority even in life’s most challenging moments, which is why she is considered a ‘Remarkable Woman.’
Coatney was nominated for the award by her husband, Steve.
A walk around the neighborhood with her beloved dogs gives Coatney some time for herself because normally, she’s lifting others up.
“I just want to give back to those I love and try to take care of them,” she said .
Not only does her husband and children feel her support, but Steve said everyone around her does as well.
Coatney said she treats her coworkers like family. She manages more than 100 people at a store in the Greenwood Park Mall.
When the shooting happened last year, she felt a sense of responsibility.
“It was a very uneasy time for a lot of people, and I felt like my job as a leader was to make sure they felt comfortable,” she said. “I felt like it was my job to keep them safe and care for them.”
Coatney was there for her husband when he was in a near-death motorcycle crash. When Steve was en route to Washington to participate in a motorcycle ride to benefit fallen soldiers at the Pentagon, he was hit and ejected from his bike. He had no pulse, Coatney said, until someone on the ride performed CPR.
Coatney was back at home and remembers the terrifying moments when she received the call and Steve was airlifted to the hospital.
“I just asked him if he’s dead or alive and he said – he’s alive – I said is he breathing on his own? He said, now he is,” Erica said. “I could hear the chopper airlifting him from away the accident scene.”
Erica said she immediately dropped everything and traveled to be by his side when doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving through the night. She remained by his side the several months following the accident, so he could make a full recovery.
“I helped him with doing puzzles and games and all kinds of things that would help his mobility, memory, just anything,” she said.
‘Team Us’ is what Erica is all about. A term she coined during the riots in 2020 when her husband, an IMPD officer was tasked with policing downtown.
“He was out there supporting a city that he loves,” she said, “Team us, team us – whatever you need, I’ll help you and he does the same for me.”
And just as she’s there for everyone else, her dogs Harley, Chloe and Tilley are there for her. Chloe and Tilley both were born with birth defects, and she has to communicate with them through sign language and touch.
“Harley just gets treats because he’s old and cute, but the girls are definitely different and function at a different speed,” Erica shared it’s a very strong bond between them.
It makes Erica happy to support the ones she loves.
“My dad said he wanted to live his life with no regrets, and I feel like he did that and that’s always stuck with me, so I want to do the same,” she said.