He and a friend had hopped on their motorcycles and were headed down to Jekyll Island July 3.
They had stopped in Forsyth for gas and while waiting at a traffic light, with no warning a woman rammed his bike and fled the scene, leaving behind a life forever changed by the encounter.
Tatum suffered a severely broken leg and nerve and artery damage in the accident and was admitted to a hospital in Macon for surgery. Following several additional surgeries in attempt to save his foot, amputation was required.
But Tatum is well on his way to making the most of his life following the accident.
“It’s one of those things that could have been much worse,” said Tatum.
In the past months Tatum, who has worked as a deputy at the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office for the past three years, has incurred great expenses and his recovery will extend beyond his leave time accrued at work.
Deputy Leslie Pierce came up with the idea to host a benefit to help with those expenses.
“He’s my brother,” Pierce said. “We’ve got to take care of each other. If we don’t take care of each other what do we have?”
Pierce approached Deputy Tracy Edwards and Sheriff Clark Millsap with plans for the benefit concert to help raise money for Tatum.
Millsap said the sheriff’s office is more than happy to help with their own.
“When you’ve got a member of your family in need you try to go above and beyond to help,” Millsap said. “You’ve got to look at your faith in God when you deal with something like what he’s dealt with. We just want to do all we can to help.”
The benefit will be held Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center. Admission is $10.
Among the list of performers are The Mountainaires, Brothers in Christ, The Roundtree Family, Renewed Trio, The Vine Family and Enlisted.
“If we can do anything to lift his spirits through this music then that’s what we’re here for,” Edwards said.
Tatum said seeing the sheriff and his coworkers come together to help him has been uplifting.
“It’s been a blessing to see what God’s going to do,” Tatum said.
Information: (770) 713-0860 or (678) 882-6627.