In need of a ‘helping hand’: Blood drive for Vicksburg man to be held Monday

Published 12:36 pm Friday, January 19, 2024

Lifelong Vicksburg resident Bobby Brown is known by many in Vicksburg as the man in the Rat Rod truck who has taken part in countless parades over the years, usually behind the wheel of the classic vehicle. But now after a freak accident involving the same Rat Rod, his family said he could use the help of the community he loves.

Brown’s niece Wendy Myers said her uncle was involved in an accident just before Christmas while working on his truck at his home and now, after more than a month in the hospital, is in need of donated blood, which locals can contribute to through a blood drive Monday at Vicksburg’ Kroger location on Pemberton Square Boulevard from noon until 5 p.m.

“Uncle Bobby is still trying to stay strong and hang in there with us,” Myers said. “The blood donations are the most important. He has needed many units of blood.”

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Myers said Bobby’s accident took place in mid-December, the day before a family Christmas gathering, and has left the 72-year-old with a tall mountain to climb toward complete recovery.

“He is a lifelong resident of Vicksburg,” Myers said. “He was in all the parades with (his truck). He was a big guy for coming to all of the parades and he’s just always been a driver in the parades and being downtown. It was the morning of December 15, because on the 16th, our family has a big Christmas gathering. We get a call that he went out to his car, and we didn’t know if he was trying to tack a piece (of the car) or weld a piece, but his shirt caught fire. He fell and broke one of his arms. He got the fire put out and called his son.”

Myers said Bobby was immediately transported to a local burn center, where he was treated for second-degree burns to 30-percent of his torso and has since fought his way through treatment for infections – including amputations of fingers on his left hand.

“They say a second-degree burn is the most painful kind,” Myers said. “And he’s been in the hospital since fighting for his life. This past weekend they did a surgery for him that included an amputation, but we also think that is what stopped most of the infection and got him going on the right way.”

Myers said Bobby remains hospitalized in Jackson, but she is hopeful Monday’s blood drive will go a long way toward helping him eventually make his way home.

“He’s a great human being that has always had a helping hand for others, and now we need that in return for him,” she said.

Myers said anyone with questions about the drive, or needing a ride to the location at 3408 Pemberton Square Boulevard, can call or text her at 228-669-4145.