PORT GIBSON, Miss. (WDAM) - A non-profit organization made by a Laurel native takes action to provide mosquito protection for a local community after the first West Nile virus case was reported in Mississippi.
James Hendry and his organization, W.E.E.P. (West Nile Education, Eradication and Prevention) & Recover provided free Spartan Mosquito products and educational West Nile virus prevention tools to about 600 families in Claiborne County and the surrounding area.
W.E.E.P. & Recover focuses on virus awareness and mosquito control.
Hendry decided to make mosquito virus education his lifelong mission after losing his son, Phillip, to West Nile virus-related illness.
“My son Phillip was 19-years-old when his life was taken by a mosquito,” said Hendry. “As a father, that broke me. Now, I’m doing everything I can to make sure nobody else dies from this mysterious and dangerous disease. This effort is how I honor Phillip’s legacy.”
Hendry hopes to have the citizens of Mississippi take the West Nile virus seriously even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish things weren’t this way. I wish that these two viruses weren’t plaguing the state of Mississippi. But viruses don’t discriminate; they only destroy,” said Hendry. “I’m proud to safely gather with Claiborne County and fight against this West Nile virus.”
Hendry strongly believes that the best way to fight against the disease is by uniting with one another.
“If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that beautiful things can happen when we put faith over fear community over the individual,” Hendry said. “Life is short. COVID-19 brought that undeniable truth into greater meaning. I think it’s always the right time to do the right thing. This is how I keep Phillip’s memory alive.”