Attorney back in better health

Parkersburg attorney Bill Richardson feels fortunate to be alive.

Earlier this year, his medical prognosis looked bleak.

In April, Richardson experienced a sudden fever and mild upset stomach. And for years, he had been experiencing a dry cough.

Richardson ended up spending 16 days in the hospital, before being released and then suffering a relapse that sent him back to the hospital. He received treatment in three hospitals.

After a lung biopsy in an out-of-town hospital, Richardson said his condition worsened. “It was touch and go for days” whether he would survive, he said.

Although testing is still being done, Richardson has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease. Symptoms can include a dry cough and shortness of breath.

After leaving the hospital, Richardson had six weeks of physical therapy at the Willows Center in Parkersburg.

He carries supplemental oxygen and has oxygen at home. He uses a walking stick to get around.

Richardson is back working afternoons at his law office. In September, he returned to his position as president of the Wood County Airport Authority.

He said he feels OK when sitting but tires easily when walking.

Although it has been a slow recovery process, Richardson believes his health is improving.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said. He attends pulmonary rehabilitation twice a week.

Richardson, 61, said he appreciates all the prayers that have been said for him. Family and friends have remained close by his side.

“I believe in the power of prayer,” said Richardson, a member of First Baptist Church in Parkersburg.

He said this experience reaffirms his religious faith. Over the years he has tried to help others and now others have helped him, Richardson said.

Richardson’s medical advice to others?

“If you think something is wrong, get it checked out,” he said.

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Local residents Tom Azinger and R. Bruce White have worked to bring author Dean King to the Vienna Public Library next Friday. King, who lives in Richmond, Va., is a historian and the author of “The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys, The True Story.” King’s research on the famous family feud in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky was used in the History Channel’s documentary. He is the son of Bill King, who graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1953, and Betsey Gramlich King, PHS Class of 1954. Azinger and White are both 1953 graduates of PHS and White was a good friend of Bill King until King’s death in 1991. Dean King, an award-winning author of nine non-fiction books, will meet with area residents and sign his new book at the Vienna Public Library from 4-6:30 p.m. Nov. 8. King promises to tell the “true” story of the Hatfields and McCoys.

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The inaugural Second Saturday Social in downtown Parkersburg kicks off next Saturday at The Daily Grind restaurant, 619 Market St. A guided walk or bike ride of the area will begin at 5 p.m., followed by a social time at the Grind around 6 p.m. Singer/songwriter Katelyn Read will perform and there will be beverages at the family-friendly event. A bicycle map of Parkersburg will be presented for review and discussion. The Saturday socials are designed to support downtown businesses.

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Hall of Fame disc jockey Don “Tootie” Brown and his wife, Maxine, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., were special guests last Saturday night at a dancers’ fundraiser at Worthington Golf Club in Parkersburg. Ballroom, square and Carolina Shag dancers had a good time, raised money and collected food for the Good Samaritan Food Pantry at Wayside United Methodist Church in Vienna. The dance was hosted by the Mid-Ohio Valley Shaggers dance club. “Tootie” Brown has been playing beach, boogie, and rhythm and blues music for shag dance parties since 1985 and was named to the Association of Beach and Shag Club’s DJ Hall of Fame in 2009. Local Shaggers club disc jockeys Tim Miller and Randy Kinsolving recreated their tribute to the Blues Brothers for the event.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com