Fallen Thomas Co. paramedic honored with blood drive - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fallen Thomas Co. paramedic honored with blood drive

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Thomas County Emergency Medical Services workers are honoring a co-worker they lost last year.

Paramedic Jeff Harris died from complications from a freak accident while on duty last memorial day weekend.

His friends are holding a blood drive friday to honor him and save lives.

Lieutenant Jeff Harris is not forgotten.

"He was a super guy, big heart," says paramedic Mike Morris. "He was like a brother."

"He was loving, he'd do anything for anybody at any time," says Captain Derrick Ogletree.

"He always had a big grin on his face," co-workers say.

But his life was cut short last year over Memorial Day weekend.

"It was a very sudden tragic freak accident," says Morris.  

Jeff worked as a paramedic with Thomas county EMS. While on duty, he fell and broke his arm and leg. He was sent to the hospital and released. That night he fell asleep, and never woke up.

"This has been a hard week for us," says Ogletree.

Now his co-workers are holding the 2nd annual Jeff Harris Memorial blood drive this Friday, June 5th. Jeff was a life long blood donor and had given 52 pints during his lifetime.

Jeff's co workers even made t-shirts in his honor. On the front his radio call number 801, on the back, Gator medic, because those who knew him best say he was the biggest gator fan in town.

But they say he was most passionate about his job, and helping others.

"Jeff was a giver. He inspired a lot of us to start giving blood," says Ogletree.

Now they hope the community will do the same this Friday. They've even put out a challenge to all Thomas county and city emergency services, whoever gives the most blood, gets a trophy.

"Coming out would honor Jeff. And saves lives," says Morris.

Honor a man who friends and family say loved life, and lived to give.

Jeff Harris was also an organ donor. Because of him five people are living and seeing now. His eyes were among the organs donated.

That blood drive will be friday at the E-M-S station off Remington Avenue from 8 to 5:30.

Their goal is to double his life-long donation and collect 104 pints of blood.

Jeff was 38 when he died, and was engaged. His 39th birthday would have been celebrated tomorrow, June 2nd. 

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