Olive Branch festival to help paralyzed officer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Olive Branch festival to help paralyzed officer

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5

An Olive Branch, Mississippi community is coming together to help a police officer who was shot back in 2006.

He was paralyzed from the chest down and needs help from the community to get a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Detective Mark Ayers did not let his injury stop him from serving the Olive Branch community. Even after becoming paralyzed, he kept on working.

Ayers lives on his own and caretakers and family members said he's self-sufficient.

"It's difficult. There is a lot of difficult days. You just work through them,” Ayers said.

However, mechanical problems with his vehicle made life a little more difficult for Ayers.

"Doing the simplest task like going to get groceries, going out of town, anything. Whether it's going to the movies or going down the road, transportation means a lot,” Ayers said.

Four years ago Ayers came to the Sweet Pea restaurant in Olive Branch where he met Amy Hughes, whose father was a police officer. After hearing about his struggle, she felt it was time to help.

She organized a festival Saturday with a 5k, a tennis tournament, a poker run, a kid zone and a shooting competition to help him raise funds for a new vehicle.

Despite his struggles, Ayers said he would not change one thing about his life.

"You need to try to help as many people as possible and to look back on the positives and hope you did good for someone at some point in time."

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