Shipyard Employees Give Blood To Help Colleagues Recover - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/23/05

Shipyard Employees Give Blood To Help Colleagues Recover

The two men injured in Monday's shooting at Northrop Grumman continue their recovery. Ben Gaffney is listed in fair condition at Singing River Hospital. Donald Eddins is still in critical condition. Family members say Eddins suffered from excessive bleeding.

Hundreds of Northrop Grumman employees rolled up their sleeves Tuesday afternoon, as they gave their own blood to help fellow co-workers in desperate need.

"When tragedy hits, everyone tries to do what they can," employee Gary Reynolds says.

"I think it's important to help anybody who's in distress," Cheryl Wellington says.

Helping out sometimes includes standing in a 30-minute long line.

"We started at 10 o'clock. Pretty much since then it's been a steady stream through all day," Northrop Grumman Executive Jim McIngval says.

Most of the employees don't mind. Penny Lynn Cole says waiting in a long line to give blood is the least she could do for her friend Don Eddins.

"I was devastated. Bubba's the nicest person you'd ever want to meet, always smiling, joking, cutting up. He'd do anything for you, and that's why we are here today," Cole says.

So far more than 240 employees have turned out to give blood.

Although most of them don't know either Gaffney or Eddins, they say just knowing a colleague is in need makes them want to help out.

"I didn't know either one of the them. The man that did the shooting, I didn't know him either. We all work for the same company, so I just thought it would be a good thing to do," employee Hunter Patton says.

"Our employees are well known for their compassion and their caring," Vice President of Human Resources Ann Fortenberry says.

And hopefully it'll be that caring and compassion that helps both Gaffney and Eddins fully recover.

By Jaimee Goad

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