Blood drive planned to assist accident victim

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

Most people will tell you Lawrence County is a small place, andthey take care of their own.

After a tragic car accident took the life of T.J. Rutland, 21,and left Emily Bourne, 16, and Kristen Sauls, 17, to be treated atThe University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Monticello familyhas bonded together to help.

Joey Daniels, 22, was treated and released at the LawrenceCounty Hospital, but sustained an infection in his arm that senthim back to UMC. Family friends said it looks like Bourne will notneed surgery, although she has been in traction for a brokenpelvis.

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But Sauls, an honors student, cheerleader, softball and soccerplayer at Lawrence County High School, remains on a ventilator atUMC. Hospital officials said, however, that she is in goodcondition.

Shana Turnage, a family friend from Monticello, said a blooddrive will be held on Saturday in the Ramey’s parking lot to helpthe cause. It will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,Turnage said.

“So many people have called, wanting to know if they coulddonate blood, we called them at the blood services to see if wecould do a blood drive,” Turnage said.

The drive will be held in Sauls’ name, and Turnage said it wasjust lucky that there was already a drive scheduled at Ramey’s forSaturday.

“We could have done one after Christmas, but this one wasalready scheduled as a general Christmas blood drive, so theychanged it and put in all Kristen’s information,” Turnage said.

Ramey’s will give a 24-pack of 12-ounce Pepsi products to eachblood donor, and there will be two blood buses on site, Turnagesaid.

“They had a blood drive here before, and a lot of peoplecouldn’t give because the lines were so long,” she said. “So therewill be two buses here this time.”

And another factor in the expected turnout is that now theMississippi Blood Services allow 16-year-olds to give blood withparental consent, Turnage said. But even if someone can’t make theblood drive on Saturday, they can still give blood for Sauls at anytime.

“Any time someone wants to give in her name, they can go to theMississippi Blood Services office on Lakeland Drive (in Jackson)and do it there,” she said.

In order to donate at the office in Jackson, they just need toknow Sauls’ name and birthday, which is Sept. 15, 1992, Turnagesaid.

Meanwhile, Rutland’s funeral was held Thursday morning.

“It’s going to be one of those really tough days,” Turnagesaid.