LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A man who led volunteers during the Lee County tornado search and recovery process is now working on his own recovery.
According to Rita Smith with the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, Jeremy Jones, 33, is in the process of recovering from a stroke.
Smith says Jones, a former Auburn dispatcher and volunteer firefighter, was responsible for training hundreds of Lee County Certified Emergency Response Team volunteers. He also managed those volunteers during the search, rescue and recovery process immediately following the devastating March tornadoes, which took 23 lives.
Smith talked about his devotion to people and the community, even describing a time when Jones and his wife paid out of pocket for volunteer meals when meals ran out.
“He is like the brother I never had. He is a giver with a heart of gold,” Smith said.
Sunday morning Jones’ wife noticed he was acting strange and so she called emergency officials. They soon learned he suffered a stroke.
While under care at the hospital, doctors discovered Jones had a clot. He was taken into surgery for it to be removed and as he was recovering from that surgery, another clot was discovered.
“That particular clot went down the right side of his leg,” Smith said.
Jones was again taken back to surgery but instead of being able to remove the clot, his leg had to be amputated.
Smith says this emergency medical situation is a huge financial burden for this young family. The Lee County EMA‘s CERT team established a Go Fund Me page to start helping them.
“This whole thing has been very humbling for him to see the community reach out and offer ‘what can we do for you’, because usually it is the other way around,” Smith added.
Smith said despite everything, Jones is happy and upbeat and looking forward to rehab and recovery.
“It is going to be a long road; it’s not going to be a short fix, but it is very promising and very hopeful that he is going to make a full recovery.” Smith added.