Flowood woman helps save the life of paralyzed man in Texas

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - September 5 is a Sunday Dennis Brown won’t soon forget.

His car became engulfed in flames outside his Dallas, Texas home. He had rented the car because it was equipped with hand controls. Brown is paralyzed from a gunshot he suffered when he was 22 years old.

“I had rented this particular car several times,” Brown said. “Seemed like the car was fixing to give out and I looked up [and] the front end was on fire.”

Things were looking bleak for Brown until a woman came to his rescue, pulling him from the flaming vehicle.

Brown’s mother, Julia, later went back to the house the woman was visiting to thank her but Julia did not get the woman’s name.

“I did not know at the time he was paralyzed,” explained Tammi Arrington. “So I thought maybe he was just in shock.”

The woman who rescued Dennis Brown that day is Flowood resident, Tammi Arrington. She was visiting a friend who had just moved to the Dallas neighborhood when she looked out a window, saw a car on fire and stepped outside to call 911.

That’s when she says she noticed someone moving inside the car.

”We’ve laughed about this since,” Arrington said, “but I just said, You’ve got to get out of the car! And he said, I can’t! And so then I said, again, You’ve got to get out of the car! thinking he was in shock. And he said, I can’t. I’m in a wheelchair.

That’s when Arrington jumped into action.

”And so I grabbed him under his arms and picked him up and kind of, I hate to use the word drug, but I just kind of had to drag him a little bit because I’m shorter.”

Arrington had taken Brown’s wheelchair out of the burning car and Brown showed her how to assemble it once they were safely away from the flames.

“What do you attribute it to?” I asked her. “You know, the fact that you were able to save this man’s life?”

“God, for sure,” she responded.

”I would like to get the chance to thank her because it seems like, after that, she disappeared,” Brown said.

Brown may get that chance to thank Arrington soon. She says she’s planning a return visit for handshakes, hugs and dinner with Dennis and Julia Brown; two people who now call her hero.

”Well, they’re very sweet for that,” Arrington said. “But I just don’t think I should be called that.”

What you can call Tammi Arrington is Mississippi Strong.

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