Letter From the President - September/October 2012
As I write this, the weather is still warm and humid, and cooler temperatures have yet to prevail. From my office window, I have a view of our south Allentown campus with its winding pathways, flowering gardens, and bronze sculpture of the late Rev. Dr. Conrad Raker holding up a little girl, her crutches extended like wings.
The sculpture, beautifully executed by Czechoslovakian-born sculptor Karel Mikolas, is a lasting testament to the Raker family legacy of compassion that guides us in our mission more than 100 years later. And as I look at it, I see in the child’s lofty position a symbol of what we strive to do for our patients every day — give them wings to experience life as fully and as independently as possible.
For each patient who comes through our doors, independence means different things. How they get there is a uniquely personal journey. It’s never the same for any two people, just as no two patients are the same for any of our incredibly skilled caregivers.
Tom Horwath of Coopersburg, the man you’ll meet in this month’s cover story, counts many blessings in his life. Good Shepherd is now among them. Tom experienced our expertise on many levels starting with an extended stay in the Good Shepherd Specialty Hospital and ending with outpatient therapy at our Coopersburg site.
As with so many people who come to us, the sudden onset of an acute illness changed Tom’s life drastically, bringing him deep pain and despair. Tom developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological disorder affecting the nerves. After a month-long stay at our Specialty Hospital, Tom was transferred to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown for the second stage of his recovery. Finally, with great joy, he went home to continue therapy at our outpatient site in Coopersburg.
Tom is slowly returning to doing the things he loves — cooking, gardening and enjoying his family. And, he has become a most enthusiastic champion of Good Shepherd. His heart brims with gratitude for everyone who played a role in bringing him through and ultimately, helping him take wing with a new appreciation for life.
God bless you,
Sally Gammon, FACHE
President & CEO