The community of Point Coupee, Louisiana, held an emergency blood drive on July 24 for a police officer who was severely injured in a 50-foot fall and who required multiple blood transfusions to stay alive.
Travon Smith, a New Roads police officer and honorary firefighter with Point Coupee Fire District No. 2, was cutting a tree in Morganza on July 17 when he fell and was seriously injured.
Officials say he misjudged the weight of a limb, and when he reached out to grab it, the branch broke off and took him with it.
The LifeShare Blood Center said that after the fall, Smith was in critical condition and required multiple surgeries and several units of blood. He is currently on life support in a Baton Rouge hospital.
Once they heard the news, community members immediately rallied to help out in any way they could.
LifeShare, a community blood donor that holds blood drives and supports hospitals throughout Louisiana, east Texas and south Arkansas, held two emergency drives at the Point Coupee Fire Protection District No. 5 Training Center and at the New Roads Police Department.
“We figured we’d try to do something for the family and try to support him as much as we can throughout the time, he’s in the hospital,” Fire Chief Pedro Leonard said.
Both events drew large turnouts from the community. People described Smith as a giving person.
“It’s a feeling of joy to see all the support, but it’s kind of sad because of the occasion. But God’s turning it around to make it a more joyous time, because you see all the love being poured out to the family, and that’s a blessing,” Travon’s grandmother Josephine Jones told WBRZ 2.
Jones said that Smith is an active helper in the community. “I always knew he was loved by a lot because he always did things for everybody in the community. Whether it was plumbing, cutting trees, building, just being there.” Jones said she is praying that Smith will recover.
“It’s like I can’t sleep all the time cause he’s always on your mind and you hear one report, the doctors say this and then you believe what God’s saying, complete healing, so I’m just standing on that complete healing,” Jones said.
Family friend Debra Maloid also is praying for a recovery, and said the community is coming together to support Smith.
“Travon is very special to everyone in Pointe Coupee Parish and probably other areas, too. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to come out,” she said.
Morganza Fire Chief Aaron Edwards urged community members to do their part.
“This is a guy, he never told anyone no. That’s why he is an honorary member of our fire department because anytime we need anything, he’s there regardless if it’s 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.,” Edwards said. “Come help out the guy who always helped out the world.”