WTOC Senior Active: Leola Williams - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Senior Active: Leola Williams

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Leola Williams has worked at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital for 38 years and today helps comfort patients in the Outpatient Surgery Center. Leola Williams has worked at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital for 38 years and today helps comfort patients in the Outpatient Surgery Center.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Every morning, Leola Williams walks into work and the first thing she does is put out her pictures.

There are her grand children and great grandchildren, doctors she works with and a certain Supreme Court justice.

Clarence Thomas's mother has worked at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital for 38 years, the last 25 in the Outpatient Surgery Center, arriving at 4:30 a.m.

"I love it,'' she says. "I can't sleep. After 2:30 I can't sleep. I'm just ready to go to work.''

And ready to provide a most unique form of personal care.

Technically, she's a greeter. But Miss Leola is so much more to the many people who come there under circumstances different than hers.

"I try by any way to make them comfortable,'' she said. "They come in, they're sad, they're confused at times. They don't want to be here, but they have to be. So you've got to do something to make them happy.  I tell them I love them, God bless them, I'm praying for them.''

Some patients bring out an even more natural kindness.

"My thing is the kids,'' she said. "I love the kids. When the kids come in, I have them smiling. One little boy asked me this morning, are they going to give me a shot? I said oh no. They're not going to give you a shot, uh uh. You call me if they give you a shot.''

This penchant for helping others, for impacting lives for the better, comes from Miss Leola's upbringing  and from a familial sense of compassion that she says is responsible for her middle child's success.

"We come a long way, a long way,'' said Miss Leola, who visits her son in Washington D.C. every summer. "We didn't have the money, but daddy gave us the wisdom and knowledge and understanding how to go in life and that's what took us through, what took me and my sons and daughter.''

It's that wisdom and understanding that she shares with strangers every day. Although Miss Leola has never really met a stranger.

"I love all my kids and I love everybody's kids,'' she says. "I feel like they're all mine.''

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