SPRINGFIELD — The Voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus, and Springfield sports writer Wyatt Wheeler tell KOLR10 they are thankful for a positive update.

For decades, Art Hains has been one of the most recognizable voices in sports in the Ozarks. He is the voice of the Missouri State Bears, hosts a radio show, and is the pregame host for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network.

As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for their fifth Super Bowl, their pregame radio host continues his fifth month of recovery from West Nile virus in a Lincoln, Nebraska hospital.

Wyatt Wheeler is Hains’ Co-Host for “Sports Talk” on JOCK 96.9, an afternoon-drive radio show in Springfield. He has made multiple visits to see Haines while he recovers.

“There were points in there, on a Sunday where they said, ‘We don’t think he’s gonna make it,'” Wheeler says. 

Recently, Wheeler and others close to the Missouri Sports Hall of Famer say he is starting to turn a major corner.

“The biggest thing facing Art right now is getting off the ventilator at night,” says Wheeler. “He’s been doing a great job during the days and we got the best text a few nights ago saying that he would be on multiple days without it at night.”

Even through the fight of his life, he’s been cheering on Missouri State and the Chiefs along the way.

“There’s not a single person in Springfield who would be more excited than Art Haines with the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. And there’s nobody more excited in Lincoln, Nebraska, right now than Art Hains,” Wheeler says.

The Voice of the Chiefs, Mitch Holthus, says recommended Hains for the position of pregame radio show host when the team was looking for one in 2008. 

“(Hains’) voice is so distinctive in his love and passion for the Chiefs, there is not many like him.”

Holthus recalls the same feelings as Wheeler – what was once a grim outlook for his friend and colleague.

“We truthfully walked into the booth the week of the Indianapolis game, not thinking he would make it. And that’s not being dramatic. That’s really where it was at,” Holthus explains.

Hains – and the Chiefs – have both come a long way in the last few months.

“We were heartsick when we heard about what happened to him. But we’re also encouraged and realizing tons of prayer here – and answered prayer,” says Holthus. “Now, he’s just gone right along with the Kansas City Chiefs, how they’ve got here to Super Bowl 57.”

There is no timetable for when Hains will leave the hospital, much less return to broadcasting, but one thing is for sure: he’ll be rooting for his Chiefs from afar as they look to win another Super Bowl. 

Wheeler says Hains’ silky smooth voice, and sense of humor are still intact and jokes that the doctors may have to put up with both this weekend.

“If that game gets too close, doctors are going to have to quiet him down.” 

The Hains family says they are grateful for the numerous donations, love, and support.