Fundraisers support medical expenses for volunteer firefighter

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A fundraiser selling shirts for volunteer firefighter Kayla Thigpen’s medical costs is ongoing. Thigpen was in a single car accident on June 11 and was airlifted to Forrest General for treatment of injuries that were listed as severe at the time.

Since the accident, she has undergone four surgeries, received at least eight units of blood, four units of plasma and four units of platelets, Thigpen said. She still needs a skin graft for a large wound on her hand, Thigpen said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I couldn’t ask for a better staff at the hospital,” Thigpen said. “Everything has gone smoothly. The only thing that has worried me is the chest tubes. I hope I never have to get another one. I’m dreading the day they have to pull that out.”

Thigpen said she just left her full time job at Stennis and was headed to her part time job as a firefighter at the Poplarville Fire Department when she got in the car accident, she said. Thigpen does not remember the accident or the week following, she said.

“I don’t know who all was on the scene that day, but they took care of me,” Thigpen said.

Alongside her paid work, Thigpen has been a volunteer firefighter with the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department for the last 14 years, Thigpen said.

“I’ve always wanted to do that since I was little,” Thigpen said. “I enjoy helping people.”

Several fire departments came together to hold a blood drive and fundraiser in support of Thigpen on Sunday, she said. The community responded in kind by donating 30 units of blood, which will go toward Thigpen. Any left over donations will go to the hospital to help other patients, Thigpen said.

Thigpen is amazed by the show of support she’s received from the community.

“I would just like to thank everybody from the community and the fire department,” Thigpen said.

Thigpen has already spent three weeks in the hospital and may be there for another week, she said. Her doctor did not expect her to make it, she said.

T-shirts as part of the fundraiser are $20 and can be purchased on Etsy or ordered from April’s in Picayune on Highway 11, Thigpen said.