A former Louisiana State University football player was the victim of a freak hunting accident back in December. Democratic & Chronicle reports that on Dec. 28, Matt Branch (an LSU offensive lineman who played from 2008-2011) was severely injured while out on a hunting trip with friends and family in Mississippi.
Micah Heckford, Branch's best friend, recalls the morning to be just like any other, stating that the group had gone on hunting trips for several years. However, as they were preparing to venture out for their duck hunting expedition, Branch placed his hunting gun in the bed of the Polaris Ranger, which the group was to use for transportation. Upon seeing this, a Labrador named Tito hopped up to enter the vehicle, stepping on the Branch's weapon. This act inadvertently removed the safety and fired a round, striking Branch in the leg.
The group quickly called 911 and rushed to an accessible road where the paramedics could easily get to them. When firefighters arrived, Heckford began to fully realize the gravity of the situation. "It was at that point in time I realized how much he had bled. His pants were just soaked in blood."
The incident resulted in several surgeries and, ultimately, the need to amputate Branch's left leg. It is reported that his cognitive functions are OK, and he is expected to survive.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover expenses, and it has reached over $72,000, less than $3,000 short of the goal, in eight days.