Injured paramedic making slow, steady progress - - Jackson, MS

Injured paramedic making slow, steady progress

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Jennifer Hesselbein (Source: AMR) Jennifer Hesselbein (Source: AMR)
Jackson police say a pedestrian was killed after he and an AMR employee were hit by a vehicle in west Jackson. Jackson police say a pedestrian was killed after he and an AMR employee were hit by a vehicle in west Jackson.
Robert Lee Howard Robert Lee Howard
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The family of an injured American Medical Response paramedic says she is making "slow but steady progress."

Jennifer Hesselbein, 27, remains in the surgical intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. According to the hospital, she is listed in critical condition.

Hesselbein was injured July 31 when she was struck by a suspected drunk driver while she was treating a pedestrian who had been struck by another vehicle.

Public Affairs Manager for AMR Central Mississippi Jim Pollard said Hesselbein suffered numerous broken bones and a serious eye injury in the crash.

According to a statement from Hesselbein's family, physicians and nurses are closely monitoring her, and since she was admitted there have been "one or two indicators have at times been a little worrisome for short periods, but her caregivers have been able to moderate them."

Hesselbein could undergo more surgery by the end of the week.

The pedestrian was killed in the second collision. Hinds County Deputy Coroner Stephanie Meachum identified the pedestrian as Jessie Lee Thomas, 71, of Hinds County.

Jackson Police Officer Colendula Green says the AMR crew was treating Thomas, who had been hit by a vehicle near the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Avenue and Industrial Drive. Thomas reportedly suffered a broken arm in that first accident.

Hesselbein has worked as a paramedic for AMR since 2007.

"Jennifer is a devoted paramedic who sees her work as a calling, not simply as a job. Jennifer's injury has deeply saddened all of us AMR. EMTs and paramedics risk their own lives every day to help others. Our team has united behind Jennifer and her family to help them make through the challenging days ahead," said Stan Alford, AMR's top local manager.

A man is facing charges in the crash that killed Thomas and injured Hesselbein.

Robert Lee Howard Jr., 44, is charged with aggravated DUI death and aggravated DUI injury. He was denied bond Thursday morning. When Howard went before a judge Thursday, he said he wasn't feeling well. Jackson police transported him to the hospital.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the first crash isn't facing charges, according to Green.

An account has been set up at BankPlus to receive donations for Jennifer. The name of the account is "Jennifer J. Hesselbein Donations." People wishing to make a donation can make a deposit at any BankPlus branch or mail checks to AMR, Attention Stan Alford, 600 Melvin Bender Dr., Jackson, MS, 3923.

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