Donations, blood sought for Sevierville police officer

Aug. 16, 2013 @ 11:19 PM

Police here are asking the public for help for one of their own.

Patrolman Ben Headrick has served with the department since January 2010, but is in the fight of his life after suffering a set of aneurysms that started while he was attending a wedding in North Carolina on July 21.

Since then, he’s remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., where he’s undergone several surgeries. He was diagnosed with dissecting tissue and vein disorder, a genetic disorder that affects his vascular system.

Headrick needs several units of blood each day for treatment. Because he’s in an out of state hospital, his family is paying for lodging to stay near him and is facing mounting medical bills.

Now, police are asking for the public’s help in providing more to help him. They’ve organized a MEDIC blood drive for him from noon until 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Civic Center, and are asking for monetary donations. Those can come in in the form of checks written out to Michelle Headrick, which can be mailed to Home Federal Bank of Tennessee; 11320 Chapman Highway; Seymour, TN 37865. Donations can also be dropped off at any local Home Federal location.

“We are so very thankful for the support that has been shown for Ben and his family,” Sevierville Public Information Officer Bob Stahlke said. “We are asking for prayers from everyone; his doctors are amazed that Ben has made it through the last few days so please keep praying.”

People can also send cards and letters supporting Headrick to Sevierville Police Department; 300 Gary Wade Blvd.; Sevierville, TN 37862.

The idea for a blood drive came up after Sevierville officers offered to give blood for Headrick at the North Carolina hospital, but found that it wasn’t equipped for donations, Stahlke said.

MEDIC, based in Knoxville, will accept donations in Headrick’s name at the drive Wednesday or anytime at its offices or other blood drives throughout its service area, spokesman Mike Prowell said.

“For every donor that comes in to donate blood in Mr. Headrick’s name, we will give a $15 credit to his family,” he said. “When they come in to donate they need to say ‘I’m giving blood today to donate for Ben Headrick.”

MEDIC will use the funds to help pay the costs of Headrick’s transfusion, he said.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com