Bob's Story



“At some point, everybody needs some help,” says Bob Fechtor, whose awareness of charity as a sacred obligation was instilled from an early age. Throughout their marriage, Bob and his wife, Louise, chose their charities wisely even as they were raising three sons. In the early 1950s, Louise was diagnosed with heart valve problems that would remain an issue – but not an obstacle to living a full life. “She and I traveled to more than 90 countries,” says Bob, his delight still palpable.

Unfortunately, in 1998 Louise had a paralyzing stroke during valve replacement surgery, which affected her entire left side. After the stroke, she came to Gaylord. “The care Louise received was fantastic in every way,” Bob says.” I’d sum it up this way: Gaylord doesn’t treat the malady; it treats the person.”

Louise lived five more years and with a few adaptations Bob and Louise were able to continue traveling. After Louise died in 2003, Bob decided to do something special for Gaylord patients. During Louise’s time at Gaylord, he became acutely aware of items not covered by insurance, but which he could afford to provide his wife. “It bothered me that others might be doing without something that could speed their recovery or help them overcome an obstacle.”

That’s why Bob and his three sons established the Fechtor Family Fund at Gaylord Hospital, in loving memory of their wife and mother. “I don’t have enough to give tremendous sums, but with what I have, I want to help families today because they are on the same path now that we hiked earlier. It’s good to know that someone today is walking down the street because we helped them relearn to walk.”


Gaylord Specialty Healthcare