Dr. William Prenatt comes from a very large, very close Pennsylvania family. He’s the 11th of 12 children. His father was a bomber pilot in World War II, was shot down over Germany, and was missing in action in a POW camp for two years. Once he returned home, he started work with his father’s lumber business, but a large tree rolled over him leaving him with multiple fractures, and he was in a wheelchair for over a year. His mother did many odd jobs while his father was unable to work. “We didn’t have much, but it didn’t matter to me. We lived in the country where you could live off your garden and hike the mountains, so life was great,” he said. His siblings were his friends. At age 45, his father went to college and received his degree in accounting. They moved to the little town of Sandy Lake in western Pennsylvania. He says his father taught him the value of hard work and the meaning of perseverance, that life doesn’t always go your way and how to make the most of who and what you are. His mother taught them about love and the value of family.
Today, his six brothers and five sisters, 40 nieces and nephews, and as many great-nieces and nephews span the country from Kansas to Illinois to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and of course South Carolina. They are teachers, electricians, nurses, accountants, computer programmers, clergy, housewives and househusbands, a psychologist, a mailman, and Dr. Prenatt, the family medicine physician. He always knew he was going to be a doctor and family medicine was a natural fit. “Family is the core. Family practice is a field where you don’t just fix a medical issue as if it were a stand-alone issue. You treat it as part of a person. You meet the family, you talk about all the dynamics going on. You often know the kids or the parents of your patient,” he said.
After practicing for more than 20 years in Pennsylvania and then North Carolina, he has been in the Myrtle Beach area for the last seven years. His wife Natali is a Nurse Practitioner. Their children are Mirna, 12, Sasha, 10, Lucas, 17 months, and he also has a 14-year-old daughter, Eva, who lives in Pennsylvania. When not busy with work and family, he enjoys the great outdoors and building things like barns, decks, and furniture, as well as fixing things around the house. When it comes to medical fixes for his patients, Dr. Prenatt believes he needs to get to know his patients. “It’s a branch of medicine where compassion and the ability to just listen are as important as understanding the medical process. It’s like growing up in a big family. It’s challenging every day, and I love it.”
You can contact Dr. William Prenatt at Conway Medical Center Family Medicine at Towne Center in Carolina Forest at 843-236-2700.