Mayor Tim Kent was expected to be released from North Mississippi Medical Center Thursday after being severely injured in a freak accident Tuesday night.
According to Shellie Kent, his wife, the mayor was in his shop at home working on an old Jeep he has been in the process of restoring. While he was using a grinder, an approximately four-inch piece of steel flew back and struck him in the neck. He was wearing protective gear but the metal went below the level of the shield.
His son, Austin, was in the shop with him and immediately put him in a car and took him to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital. There, they were able to control the severe bleeding some but the doctor there determined he needed to be airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center immediately for surgery.
Kent was in surgery for about an hour and a half and then placed in ICU overnight. He was moved into a regular room later Wednesday after no complications arose.
Kent’s injuries would have been much more severe if the path of the metal had been even an inch different, doctors said, and any concerns about possible nerve or voice box damage have proven unwarranted.
Kent was expected to be off work for at least several days but Mrs. Kent said it looks like his main problem will be with soreness rather than anything worse.
“We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of sympathy and support from so many people,” Mrs. Kent said, referring to the near-continuous phone calls and messages. “It has been amazing.”