Betty and Gerhard's Story


Their personal experience with stroke motivated Betty and Gerhard Bohn from Launceston, Tasmania to leave a gift to the Stroke Foundation in their Wills.

Gerhard was very close to his mother, who had a massive stroke one Christmas Day. Sadly, she never recovered enough to come home. Gerhard’s mum spent the last two years of her life in hospital until she lost her fight against stroke.

Years later, Gerhard answered the phone to be told his wife Betty was having a stroke. That chilling call brought back vivid memories of finding his mother collapsed and motionless on her kitchen floor. Gerhard prayed that stroke would not steal away Betty in the same way. Thankfully, all the right things happened for Betty; she was diagnosed quickly and correctly, and received good treatment, specialist stroke care and extensive rehabilitation on her journey to recovery. This is how it should be for all stroke survivors.

Still, the stroke has left Betty with lasting impairments and physical disabilities. Gerhard had to modify their house so that he could care for her at home after three long and difficult months in hospital.

Gerhard says he and Betty would like to see their final gifts fund more work on preventing strokes and raising awareness amongst Australians at risk.

“The problem with strokes is they come so suddenly and nobody expects them or recognises the signs of stroke. It’s so important for people to be aware of the symptoms and to get medical help straight away – it’s the thing that can stop the effects of a stroke from being worse.”

Betty would like to spare others from what she, her beloved Gerhard, and so many of their own family and friends have been through.

“If we can help somebody else, we’d like to. We don’t want others to have to go through all of the pain and suffering that we’ve experienced.”

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