Injured firefighter's family express gratitude to Houston as he recovers in hospital

Critically injured firefighter Capt. William Dowling is still recovering in the hospital

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - The Houston firefighter who was critically injured in the southwest Houston hotel fire is still hospitalized.

Capt. William Dowling has undergone six surgeries thus far and has had his legs amputated while recovering at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

His father, Rick Dowling, said they've been relying on faith and family as his son recovers.

"He knows we're there and he knows we love him and we just pray over him that he would not be anxious, just relax," said Dowling. "We pray for God's peace."

Capt. Dowling's legs were amputated above the knee and he's scheduled to begin skin grafts later this week.

All the while, his family has been by his side.

"(Bill's) little girl Faith, she's 13 (years old), said 'Daddy.' To a father, when a little girl says 'Daddy,' that gets your attention, so he responded to her when he didn't respond to us," Rick Dowling said.

Since the tragic fire, Rick said he's been overwhelmed by acts of kindness, big and small.

"I opened the door for a couple and the gentleman just put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'We're praying for your son' and I've had that happen several times. That's Houstonians. That's the community," Dowling said.

When you speak with members of the Dowling family, more than anything, they express gratitude.

They're thankful to so many who have reached out to lend a helping hand in this very difficult time.

They've shared with us some charities close to their hearts, so if you'd like to make a contribution, you can do so in Captain Bill Dowling's name: or

A blood drive continues in honor of the four fallen HFD firefighters and the 13 others injured.

For more information on where you can donate, click here.

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