A few years ago Richard Gallier had a heart catheterization at Roper Hospital and realized the guy wheeling him out of surgery was older than he was.
“How do you get a job like this?” he asked, and the volunteer steered him toward the best job he’s ever had.
Now, since 2004, the 79-year-old Gallier has been an integral part of the volunteer corps at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley, having logged 6,200 hours of service in areas that include wound management, recovery and ICU.
During that time, this retired insurance executive got to know the nurses he worked with every week and became their biggest fan.
“One day, in the cafeteria, Richard slipped me a check for $400 made out to the Roper St. Francis Nurses Foundation,” said volunteer director Joan Perry. “And he’s done that every month since then.”
If you do the math, that’s more than $33,000 Gallier has donated to educating and training nurses for the hospital he’s grown to love.
“Every week I see how carefully they care for their patients,” Gallier says. “I’ve personally seen them save the lives of at least three people. They’re just a great bunch, so I decided to support them.”
Over the years, he’s personally paid for three nurses’ training in the Roper St. Francis system where he says, “they learn how to be excellent.”
So if you see Mr. Gallier having lunch on Mondays in the cafeteria surrounded by a bevy of beautiful young nurses, you’ll understand why.
“I love my nurses,” he says with a big smile. “So I’ve decided to increase my donation to $500 a month. I’d much rather give to them than to the government.”
By: Ken Burger, former Post and Courier sports columnist and local author. Reach Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org.