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The Resident Holiday Wish List

In 2005, Bob Kisatsky and his wife, Mary, were driving home from an anniversary dinner when they were hit by another car. It was a devastating accident. Bob sustained a traumatic brain injury. After receiving treatment in the hospital, Bobcame to live at the Good Shepherd Home-Bethlehem, where it didn’t take him long to make friends and endear himself to the staff.

Because Bob was adjusting to his new life, therapists wanted him to enjoy some of the hobbies he loved before his accident. Knowing how much Bob loved and missed racing his radio-control cars, Bob’s wife brought three of his favorite cars to Good Shepherd. Bob had the perfect race track: the pathways in the therapeutic garden. Here, Bob had a blast as he sent his cars flying through the tomato plants. Seeing the fun Bob was having, three other residents joined in. And so, the RC Car Challenge club was born. Now, on Monday mornings weather permitting, Jennifer Szakacs Strohl, a recreational therapist, takes members of the club out to the garden where they can race their cars to their hearts’ content.

“This is so good for these guys therapeutically because it helps improve eye-hand coordination,” says Jennifer. “And, they don’t feel like they have a disability because they only need their hands to operate the controller. It doesn’t matter that they are in wheelchairs.” 

Unfortunately, one of Bob’s favorite cars finally gave out, and the batteries in the other cars drain quickly. With Christmas around the corner, Bob and his pals filled out their Resident Holiday Wish Lists hoping for new cars to continue their fun. And they’re not alone in anticipating some holiday surprises. Good Shepherd’s other long-term care residents have lists of their own with requests ranging from gift certificates to restaurants, concert tickets, sports memorabilia, and CDs to cologne, scented body sprays and cozy comforters. 

“We try to give the residents anything they ask for,” says Jennifer, “and we’re able to do all this for them because of our donors. We are so very grateful.”

Click here to make a donation now to the Resident Holiday Wish List.  Thank you!