Louisiana's Top Choice For Hero
Heartwarming generosity show to cop paralyzed on duty:
After on-duty crash left Jefferson Parish sheriff's Deputy Jaron Fountain almost totally paralyzed, his brothers in uniform rallied around him.
They've raised money to get Fountain a wheelchair-accessible van, which he desperately needed.
"It's like hitting the lottery," said Jaron's mother, Debbie Fountain. "It's great."
The van will give Fountain, a quadriplegic, the freedom to leave his house.
"Even if it's no more than a drive around the block or two, we can get out of the house and get to places," his mother said.
It was a year ago Wednesday that Fountain responded to a call for help. He was dispatched to a home invasion when he lost control of his cruiser and broke his neck.
In April, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand organized a fundraiser to help pay for a wheelchair-accessible van.
The department raised over $100,000, with donations coming from as far away as the West Coast. One of the largest donations came from Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, and his wife, Gayle.
"We are just really surprised by the overwhelming support and we really just thank everybody for their generosity," Normand said.
"It's good to know there are people out there that care about what goes on around the community," said Fountain's mom.
Since the department surpassed their goal, Normand said they were able to use some of that leftover money to upgrade the features and equipment in the van and also pay for related expenses, like insurance.
Now Fountain, who loves to fish, can enjoy the outdoors again and be close to the water.
"That place on Lafitte, La Rose Highway, in the park," says his mother. "They have a trail there, close by some water."