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Publisher hospitalized with stroke

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FERRIS - Ellis County Press Publisher Sheila Hatfield was hospitalized on Sunday after suffering a massive stroke earlier in the day.

Hatfield had been complaining of severe headaches over the last few weeks and woke up Sunday morning complaining of being cold and tired.

According to her husband, Charles, she went outside in the morning to get the paper, lost her balance and fell. He found her in his chair when he got up.

'Sheila usually gets up before I do to make coffee and get the Dallas paper,' he said. 'She seemed OK at the time, but was a little groggy, but nothing appeared wrong.'

Later in the day, Sheila again suffered a problematic episode and was found on the floor of the bedroom.

Family friend and classifieds manager of The Ellis County Press Sharolyn Dawn then called emergency personnel, who transported Hatfield to the hospital.

Hatfield will be hospitalized in Dallas for the next two weeks and will require two months of physical therapy before returning to work.

That, however, hasn't kept her from trying to work. As family members kept vigil at her bedside, her main concern was for the Ellis County Press, asking details about its production and status.

Several reports from family members have said Sheila was slowly improving as her three oldest children came from out of state and her youngest daughter, who lives in Ferris, joined them in the hospital to be by her side.

Charles Hatfield has resumed the responsibilities of publisher in her absence and vows not to allow the tragedy to stop the publication of the paper. 'That's what she wants us to do,' he said.

The Hatfields took over The Ferris Press in 1992 and later changed the name to The Ellis County Press in 1993 under with the motto 'Defending Truth and Freedom' along with making it known the paper would not take sides and only print the issues important to the community of Ellis County.

Throughout the intervening years, both Sheila and Charles have remained faithful to those goals and have won numerous awards along the way while breaking several controversial stories.

Adversity has been Hatfield's lifestyle and will continue to be while she goes through this trying time but she has been known to thrive in these types of situations according to all the citizens of Ellis County who know her.

Hatfield has been one of the shining lights of Ellis County for many years and members of the community have been flooding the paper with requests for information on Hatfield's condition along with sharing many prayers for her well-being.

The warmth of the Spirit of Jesus has provided the community members with a great leader in the field of journalism and many have shared stories of Hatfield's community involvement along with her caring heart for everyone around her.

The family requests all flowers and cards be sent to The Ellis County Press office located at 208 South Central, Ferris, Texas 75125.

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