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Blood drive aimed at helping local man in need of 'pints and prayers'

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POSTED: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 9:53am

The Ascension Parish Community is coming together to help a friend in need. It’s someone who not only needs the help but needs support during his fight to stay alive.

Dennis Melancon has been in the ICU for 25 days holding on to life with family by his side but little does he know his co-workers and community are banding together for him as well.

A simple blood donation is giving Dennis and the hospital the help it so desperately needs right now.

With a small pinch and the squeeze of a ball, the 15 minutes spent in that chair will save lives, especially one man by the name of Dennis Melancon.

“He's a helpful person who many times would stop what he's doing to offer a hand to help you," said best friend, Lt. Col. Bobby Webre.

Melancon has viral pneumonia which one of the worst strains out there. This is why the blood drive is more important than ever.

"A matter of fact, he's been in the medical ICU for 24 days now in intensive care most of the time and in an induced coma."

Even though Dennis is not receiving this blood now, a portion of each pint will financially go toward his medical bills. For every pint he will receive 15 dollars towards his bill.

"The fact that they are doing this will help him but help the hospital who is in need of blood," noted OLOL Donor Director, David Gremillion.

This drive held by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is not just a drive but a community effort to help a friend in need.

“He’s in charge of our fleet division,” said Lt. Col. Webre. “He takes care of all our police cars and all vehicles in the Sheriff's office."

“It makes me proud of my community and the city of Gonzales to take care of our own and to try and take care of our community," said blood donor, Clerance Johnson Jr.

So each pint and prayer will help Melancon and his family, as they enter a new year and a new road to recovery.

“He is agood family man has four beautiful children and is that type of guy a guy you would want to be your friend and you would be happy to call a friend.”

Lt. Col. Webre visited “Dino” Thursday and he told NBC33 that he is breathing a little easier now but is still unconscious. His numbers were a little better but he still has a long road to recovery.

On the first day of the drive they collected 30 pints of blood.

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