2 Lindale doctors retiring after 35 years of serving community following his major stroke

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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LINDALE, Texas (KLTV) - After 35 years, two clinics, and lots of care for patients, two Lindale doctors are retiring this week.

In 1986, Donna and Wendell Hand graduated from their internships in Fort Worth, and in the next two months got married, moved back to Lindale, and opened their practice.

“So it was kind of a whirlwind, and we’ve been here ever since,” said Dr. Donna Hand.

The two have been family practice doctors, and they see everyone from babies to older adults. In 2015 their first clinic burned down after lightning struck the building.

“Then we kind of went to appointments because we were getting older and stuff, but we still see some walk-ins. It was kind of fun because you never knew what was going to walk through the doors,” Donna said.

Wendell recently turned 70 and said he wanted to practice until he was 75.

“But February 27 he had a major stroke but he’s gotten a lot better. Before he was paralyzed on his right side but that’s all come back, he can mow and do everything. He still has a little trouble with his speech but he talks pretty good,” Donna said.

Since then the two have had to make the tough decision to retire because they’ve always said they didn’t want to practice without each other. Carrie Tidmore and her family have been patients for more than 30 years. She said they go above and beyond.

“Twenty-seven years ago I had a little boy that was stillborn and at the funeral a big spray of flowers came,” Tidmore said. “When I looked at the card it said from doctors Wendell and Donna Hand. As an RN, I can tell you other doctors didn’t do that.”

Tidmore said she feels like this is the end of an era. Both doctors have done so much to give back to their community, inside the clinic walls and beyond.

“I’m a retired RN and there were times when I did home health calls where the doctors, Donna or Wendell, were seeing patients that didn’t have anybody to come see them,” Tidmore said. “After they saw patients all day, would call some of the elderly patients I worked with and say, ‘I’m going to stop by and check on you tonight, do you need milk?’ I mean who does that?”

The two plan to stay in the Lindale area, take road trips, and enjoy being with each other. Their message to the patients?

“We’ll miss them, and we’ll miss them a lot,” Wendell said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege, really. We’ve learned a lot from them,” Donna said.

From Noon until 2 p.m. on Friday, there will be a come-and-go retirement reception for the two at their clinic.

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