Photo: Austin Eldridge, meeting with reporters following recovery from injuries when he struck by a vehicle in December 2021. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News file photo)
There’s another fundraiser being planned for DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Austin Eldridge, who you may remember as the deputy severely injured trying to help a stranded motorist.
Eldridge was injured in February 2021 when struck by a driver along I-269 near Laughter Road while trying to help change a tire for a motorist. He suffered injuries that included the loss of a leg and was off the job for several weeks, coming home from the hospital in mid-March and went back to work in September of that year.
Eldridge was awarded later the Purple Heart Award, the department’s highest award to its deputies, in December 2021.
The deputy has undergone a number of medical procedures as he continues his recovery from his injuries. But Eldridge is now approaching another surgery that his sister, Audrey Jansen, said he was about to undergo that could go a long way in his recovery.
“Austin is going to be having another, and hopefully final, major medical procedure as a result of his injuries in February of 2021, and he will have to begin the recovery journey all over again after the procedure,” Jansen said in a GoFundMe page she has started on Eldridge’s behalf. “It’s going to be another tough road, but he is already so grateful for all of the support surrounding him!”
This surgery will help allow him to get a prosthesis placed that should greatly improve his quality of life. Jansen wrote that the family continues to be grateful for what the community has done for Austin.
“We can never fully express our continued gratitude for all of the incredible support and love shown by our community toward Austin and our entire family,” Jansen said. “Thank you all for your support, prayers, and love!”
Donations are now being taken for Austin’s surgery with a goal of $50,000 set. A link to the page is found on the GoFundMe website.