James Williams

A Life Fulfilled

“Thanks To Blood Donors”

In Memory of James Williams – (8/12/58 – 6/7/07)

James Williams spent his youth thinking his episodes of illness were normal. The Greenwood native grew up knowing only that he had the sickle cell trait. He lived constantly with pain, and many days he couldn’t play outside.

“We didn’t know much about sickle cell anemia back then,” said James in 2006. “My family took care of me the best it could.” At age 28, James was officially diagnosed with sickle cell anemia by doctors in Atlanta.

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited form of anemia, characterized by a shortage of healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Those with sickle cell anemia have irregular shaped red blood cells that have difficulty passing through small blood vessels. Sickle Cells block blood vessels, keeping blood from reaching parts of the body, eventually damaging tissue and organs.

For over 20 years, James received countless units of blood. In 1996, he had congestive heart failure and began dialysis treatment for kidney failure.

“After 80 pints, I stopped counting,” James once said. “If it wasn’t for others, I would not be here.” James was dependent on blood donors.

In September, 1999, James received a kidney donation from his brother Michael. However, in 2005, the kidney failed and James beagn hemo-dialysis.

But despite all of his suffering, James knew he had beaten the odds for a person with sickle cell anemia. His doctors had not expected him to live as long as he did. Each transfusion gave him more time to spend with his wife, Anita, and their two sons. It gave him time to purchase a new home for his family. It also gave him time to pursue his calling to the ministry.

James preached his first sermon in April, 2007, at Morris Chapel Baptist Church in Greenwood. In May, he graduated from Interdenominational Theological Center.

“I believe James fulfilled his purpose in life,” said Anita. “He always had a smile and a kind word. We are forever grateful for the time we had with James.”

James Williams passed away on June 7, 2007.