Doctors have done all they can for 4-year-old with cancer; Miss-Lou community turns to God in prayer

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

VIDALIA, La. — As 4-year-old Watson Calhoun and his mother Melissa returned to Memphis Monday for his final round of chemotherapy, around 200 people in their hometown Natchez and Vidalia communities fought for Watson with heads bowed and hands raised.

More people joined the prayer service via a live stream on social media.

The prayer vigil took place in the heat of Monday afternoon at the Vidalia Riverfront Amphitheater with area pastors, law enforcement officials and community members.

Email newsletter signup

Prayers went up for the complete healing of Watson. Some prayed that his story would change others’ lives.

The Calhoun family expressed nothing but gratitude for the community’s response during this difficult time.

“On behalf of Casey and Melissa and the whole family, we want to start by saying thank you to each and every person who is here tonight, both in person and online,” said Watson’s uncle Ronnie Calhoun. “I’ve said it many times before, and I’m sure I’ll say it many times again. But I truly mean it whenever I say this is the greatest community that anybody could ever be in.”

Shortly after the Calhouns were told Watson’s chances of survival had “dropped to none,” the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office rallied other agencies throughout the region to host a motorcade that drove by Watson’s house in Vidalia to pick him up and bring him to the sheriff’s office to be sworn in as the department’s youngest deputy.

Watson turns 4 years old this Saturday but will be spending his birthday in the hospital.

“He thinks that the parade on Friday was for his birthday,” Calhoun said. “He told me, ‘They’re gonna take me for a ride on my birthday.’ And I said, ‘Well, you got a heck of a birthday party, buddy.’”

Others supported the family in other ways. Neighbors cut the grass in the yard while the family was staying in Memphis. People bought their meals and donated cookies and birthday cake for a last-minute family birthday party for Watson before he left for the hospital.

After he’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor in January, fundraisers were hosted for Watson nationally.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Calhoun said. “All the local small businesses who have helped, people who helped with the birthday party the other day, people who brought food and coolers of drinks by the house and, and all the people who have set this up tonight. I’m sure that we’re leaving off 100 different things, but thank you to everybody who has been involved in any way. … We’ll never understand why stuff like this happens, but we do believe in the Lord and we trust that he knows better than we do. And sometimes that’s hard. And this is one of those times that we just have to stay in our faith and we have to keep believing, because if we knew everything there would be no such thing as faith.”

Pictured below are scenes from Monday’s prayer vigil for Watson Calhoun.