Paralyzed Olive Branch Police Officer Needs Your Help Getting New Van

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(Olive Branch, MS) An Olive Branch police officer shot in the line of duty needs your help.

A bullet pierced Mark Ayers' spine in 2006, paralyzing him from the chest down and forcing him to be in a wheelchair the rest of his life.

"As I was getting out of the car, he started shooting back at me, and I got shot twice," said Ayers.

The memory haunts him.

On June 29, 2006, the Olive Branch police officer was shot during a routine traffic stop.

The bullet pierced his lungs and spine, destroyed his liver, and left him paralyzed.

"It affects everybody. You just try to do the best you can. You just try to keep moving forward as long as possible," said Ayers.

But Ayers hit a roadblock.

His handicap accessible van is getting old and falling apart. It's making it harder for him to run errands, visit family and go to work.

"I have had numerous problems with my lift," said Ayers.

And that's just one of the many issues.

The repairs are getting too expensive, and a new van can cost around $40,000 - money he doesn't have.

The click of a button is all it would take to help Ayers.

He's entered a contest by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Four people with the most votes will win a new van equipped for wheelchairs.

Ayers is keeping his fingers crossed for a victory that would change his life.

If you would like to cast your vote to help him out, click here.

Ayers entered the contest last year three weeks before the contest ended and got around 10,000 votes. He didn't win.

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