By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Starkville city employees stepped up to help when one of their own was in need yesterday with a blood drive to benefit Ken Honeycutt.
Honeycutt, a city building inspector, suffered a rifle shot to the pelvic area on Nov. 7 while hunting. He was transported to University Medical Center in Jackson where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.
Though it was organized by city employees, the public came out to support the event as well.
According to Tony Bahou, public relations manager for Mississippi Blood Services, this blood drive comes at an important time.
“This is a critical time for us with the holidays and the deer season officially opening up,” he said. “We typically have a number of hunting accidents each year, and while most don’t require a lot of blood, we usually have two or three a year that really need a lot of blood.”
Mississippi Blood Services also wants to stock up on as much blood as they can before the holiday weekend.
“Everyone is off making travel plans. While they’re thinking about their family and friends, they’re not thinking about the strangers who are in need of blood,” Bahou said. “We have an ongoing need — about 225 units of blood a day. During a long holiday weekend, it can get hard to meet that need because donations go down.”
The blood drive will continue today from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Starkville Sportsplex. For more information about this and other opportunities to donate, visit http://www.msblood.com .
“We just ask for a little bit of time to give back,” Bahou said.
Investigators said Jeff Lyles, a city code enforcement officer, was hunting with Honeycutt in Choctaw County and shot at what he thought as a deer, but shot Honeycutt by mistake. Officials from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks are still looking into the incident and hope to speak with Honeycutt as soon as his health allows, according to public information director Jim Walker.