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Senior Class Volunteer Gives Back with Gift In Will

March 19, 2019
Photo of former Baystate Health volunteer Bob Regnault

In 1989, when Bob Regnault had to undergo coronary bypass surgery, he worried about his wife, Frances, sitting scared and nervous in the waiting room. Once he recovered, Bob met with Baystate Health leaders and led the creation of a volunteer program for the Cardiac Critical Care Unit (CCU). Bob didn't want anyone else to experience the fear and anxiety Frances did while waiting for him during surgery.

Already a founding member of Baystate Health’s new Senior Class Volunteer Program, Bob personally recruited volunteers who themselves had thrived after heart surgery at Baystate Health or who had a family member who had experienced heart surgery. These volunteers would both comfort family members in the waiting room and show how heart surgery patients can survive and flourish.

“Look at me,” Bob would say, “I went through that surgery many years ago and I’m doing fine.”

Frances Regnault recalls her husband’s words with a smile. “Bob was at loose ends when he retired early due to heart trouble. He wanted to keep busy and do something worthwhile. He wanted to be of help.” For the next 16 years, both Bob and Frances remained active as Senior Class volunteers; Bob as scheduler and coordinator for the CCU and Frances as a volunteer in the ICU. Together, they also helped organized Senior Class trips and education events and threw regular BBQs at their home so the CCU volunteers could get to know each other.

To honor Bob’s memory and his commitment to giving back to Baystate Health as a volunteer, Frances decided to include a meaningful gift in her estate plan to support cardiac research through Baystate Health’s award-winning Heart & Vascular Program. Frances shares stories and photos from her and Bob’s days as active volunteers for Baystate Health.

“My father was the 100th open heart surgery patient at Baystate Medical Center and Bob then too had his life saved there; I am so grateful for the incredible care they received,” says Frances, who is still involved with the Senior Class committee.

Making the decision to give back with a gift in her will was an easy choice. “Bob and I both owe so much of the joy in our retirement to Baystate,” says Frances. “Through our volunteer involvement, we made wonderful friends and made a difference. Being involved with Baystate Health has meant so much to me.”

Learn more about how you can make a lasting gift to Baystate Health through gift planning by contacting Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or kylie.johnson@baystatehealth.org.