A great comfort


The thought of sending a relative into the hospital in recent weeks has been unbearable for many families.

Losing a loved one without being able to visit them is even more traumatic.

One Indianola family that experienced just that scenario a few weeks ago is thankful for the care and support that was given at South Sunflower County Hospital, and they are particularly grateful for Dr. Wade Dowell.

“If I could give him a trophy, I would give him a trophy,” said Rev. Frederick Smith, who spoke on behalf of his family and his late stepfather, Willie Earl Williams who passed away on March 27 from complications with COVID-19. “He did an amazing job.”

Smith said his stepfather, Williams, went into the hospital in late March, but his wife of 29 years, Willie Bell Williams, was not able to accompany him due to visitation restrictions still in place at the hospital.

Dowell, Smith said, kept his mother informed throughout the entire process, even Facetiming her so that she could see her husband.

“We were not able to go to the hospital and see him at all, but Dr. Dowell made sure that my mother was made aware of his condition,” Smith said. “When he got better, he made sure she knew he was better, and when he got worse, he made sure she knew he got worse.”

Smith said his mother took comfort in the daily calls from Dowell, and even though her husband could not interact on the Facetime calls, just being able to see him made her feel better.

“I heard him tell her that he was going to do everything in his power to save Bill’s life,” Smith said. “He was unable to do it, but the mere fact that he made it very comfortable for her, by keeping her informed, as well as giving him the best care, I just think that was amazing… She was waiting on those phone calls. She said, ‘He’s gonna let me know how he’s doing.’”

Smith said the entire family is grateful to Dowell for making the tragic situation a comfortable one for Williams’ widow.

“Not being able to be with your people and not being able to talk with them and hold their hands, and they eventually lose their life is devastating, but because of the kindness of his heart, it made something very traumatic be a little lighter,” Smith said.

Dowell is chief of staff at South Sunflower County Hospital.


Basketball practice has already started for some at North Sunflower Academy.


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