ER helps Marion County man survive serious farm accident


Ronnie Bracey loves animals. He spends a lot of time tending to his cattle surrounded by the idyllic Marion County countryside. Bracey was enjoying a day like that when he was kicked by a bull in the abdomen.

“If you work with animals long enough, something’s going to happen. Whatever you’re doing, you’re subject to get hurt at any time,” Bracey said.

When his wife came out of their home and found him on the ground, she immediately rushed him to Marion General Hospital’s Emergency Department, which Bracey credits with saving his life.

“When I got to the Emergency Room, it only took a few minutes before they had me in a room checking my blood pressure, and at that time, they saw that I was badly in trouble,” Bracey recalls.

After stabilizing Bracey and getting the necessary X-rays and scans, Marion General transferred Bracey to Forrest General Hospital where Dr. Duncan Donald was able to immediately prep for surgery and begin operating.

Although Bracey’s surgery was performed at Forrest General, the work done by Marion General’s Emergency Department was invaluable and allowed Duncan to work faster in a dangerous situation.

“It is vital that we have hospitals like Marion General to serve rural communities. Had Mr. Bracey gone straight to Forrest General, his condition may have tragically worsened along the way.  Because he came to Marion General first, our team was able to resuscitate and stabilize him for the transfer,” Dr. Cindy Armstead, Marion General Emergency Department director, said. “Our  ability to communicate Mr. Bracey’s condition and diagnosis with the FGH trauma team prior to his arrival saved him valuable time getting to surgery.  It’s also important that Mr. Bracey was transferred via ambulance instead of riding to Hattiesburg in a car. There are certain measures medical personnel have access to in the ambulance that he would not have had being driven by a loved one.”

Bracey has gotten back to his normal routine and says he is thankful for the staff at Marion General and Forrest General hospitals.

“You know, God does a wonderful job. He put the right people in the right places to do what they needed to do. I give Him a lot of the glory,” said Bracey.