A Reason to Be Grateful

Grateful to Good Shepherd with helping him regain his independence, Dick and Lois Bohner show their gratitude with a legacy gift.

Richard Bohner was enjoying dinner on a Saturday night out with his wife, Lois, when he began feeling something wasn’t quite right. The next morning he awoke with a searing headache. The pain was so bad, Lois took Dick to the emergency room of a local hospital where an MRI prompted immediate surgery. The source of Dick’s pain turned out not to be a tumor, as doctors suspected, but an infection in his brain.

Dick spent a week in intensive care while the infection was treated. Two weeks of rehabilitation therapy followed. Dick finally made it home and the infection eventually cleared up, but the assault on his brain left Dick with some vision problems. “By that time I realized my eyes weren’t working as they were supposed to,” says Dick. “I kept bumping into things. My peripheral vision was reduced significantly. I was told not to drive.”

The loss of Dick’s independence was a blow to the retired PPL executive who enjoyed an active lifestyle that included regular golf outings with his friends and international travel. Dick was referred to Good Shepherd’s renowned Vision Therapy Program. Dick was evaluated and began physical and vision therapy to address some visual field loss and impaired depth perception. “His visual impairments were impacting his balance so he was using a cane,” says Alyssa Hauck, a physical therapist specializing in neurorehabilitation. Dick’s goals were to be able to drive again and improve his balance so he could walk with confidence unaided.

“He was highly motivated and worked very hard to achieve his goals,” says Alyssa. By the time Dick left in October, he had passed all his balance testing goals and no longer needed a cane. Perhaps best of all, Dick was cleared for the occupational therapy driving program at Good Shepherd and back on the golf course.

“Alyssa and the people there made you believe they could make you better,” says Dick. “In the back of your mind it’s the amount of hope that is given. They were really helping me and I could feel good about it.”

Grateful for having regained his independence, Dick and Lois revised their will to include a gift for Good Shepherd. The couple’s personal ties to the organization, going back many years, also inspired them to include Good Shepherd in their estate plans. Lois’s father, Elmer K. Shaffer, had been a pharmacist serving Good Shepherd’s long-term care residents. He also served on the board of trustees and was instrumental in getting Lois’s maternal grandmother placed in the Good Shepherd Home.

Dick’s mother, Madeline Bohner, was a substitute teacher in Allentown and taught many of Good Shepherd’s youngsters in her classroom. Dick also recalls a time when he was working at PPL and Good Shepherd sent residents to help with the laborious job of processing by hand up to 60,000 customer bills a day. “Growing up I always heard good things about Good Shepherd,” says Dick. “I always felt it was a beneficial place.”

Dick never imagined that one day he would experience for himself just how beneficial Good Shepherd would be in his life. Grateful for the care he received, Dick and Lois are confident their bequest to Good Shepherd will continue to benefit others for years to come. “When we made up our will there were a few local charities we thought were worthwhile,” says Lois. “Good Shepherd is one of them.”

For more information on including Good Shepherd in your will or estate plan, contact Jeannette Edwards at 610-776-3386 or jedwards@gsrh.org. Visit SweetCharityOnline.org/plannedgiving to download a free estate planning guide and record keeping book.