Westley Eli Bell was born on Monday, 4 April 2016 at Bergan Mercy hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, the eldest of two sons born to Thomas Lee Bell and Andrea Nicole Haddox. He passed away peaceably under the exceptional care of the Children’s Hospital care team and Hospice at his home in Bellevue, Nebraska on Saturday, 9 October 2021, at the age of 5 years, 6 months, and 5 days.
Family members left to mourn his passing include parents Thomas Bell and Andrea Haddox, brother Jasper Lee Bell; grandparents Dennis Leroy Bell and Tammy Louise Stowe Bell and Mark Denton Haddox and Laurie Phares and June Rice Haddox along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and loved ones. His grandmother, Gail Elaine Conn Bell, Grandfather Tim Jacob Gienger and uncle, John Samuel Bell preceded him in death.
Visitation will be Friday, October 15, 2021, from 5-7 p.m. at Bellevue Memorial Chapel.
Memorial Service will be Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 11 a.m., St. James United Methodist Church 1501 Franklin Street in Bellevue.
Burial will be at Bellevue Cemetery on a later date.
Click the link below to view the video of the service.
Westley’s life was a struggle from the very first having been born with a hole in his heart and trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). During his short life he would undergo five open heart surgeries and spent more than 500 days in the hospital. When he had his first surgery at 2 months old his heart was only the size of a walnut. Because of his complex medical needs, he spent his first 13 months at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.
There were many bright spots too. Westley was part of the “Project Austin” outreach program designed to educate local emergency services (EMS) teams about children with unique medical needs providing them with potential life-saving knowledge. One of the more exciting times was when Westley was having his 4th open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital and Andrea was having his new baby brother across town at Bergan Mercy at the same time! Westley was able to attend preschool during 2019 and on June 7th of this year started kindergarten. His last surgery on 29 September, to replace a failed heart valve, was a complete success that was to have lasted him into his teenage years. However, rare complications from the surgery took his life.
Westley loved the most to throw balls, have books read to him and to listen to music.
Memorials can be made in Westley’s memory to Heart Heroes at heartheroes.org.