Robert Grunthaner

First post: Mar 15, 2020
Hello everyone.  My name is Bob Grunthaner.  If there is one word or phrase that best describes me as stated by my wife, children, and grandchildren, it’s “selfless.”  Ask anyone who has ever come into contact with me and they will always say, “Bob will do anything for anyone and everyone, as long as it doesn’t involve a computer of course.”  My response to anything as far as computers or technology usually is, “I can’t see the da** thing.”  Anyways, a little about my story.  I was born on February 27, 1956 in Saint Marys, PA.  I have lived in Saint Marys my entire life.  I am the father of three children, two daughters and one son, and the grandfather of four wonderful grandchildren.  My wife is Cheryl Grunthaner who many of you may also know.  If you don’t know her personally, I can tell you anything and everything about her because she and I have shared in the journey of life for years and many years that I often forget how long we have actually been married.  That’s okay though, she’s always quick to remind me.  I’m a Mr. Fix-It as just about anyone and everyone who has ever come into contact with me has noticed.  From crawling underneath cars to fixing your refrigerator, furnace, or air conditioner, people might suggest I’m the guy to turn to.  I may be a jack of several trades but certainly a master of none.  So my story as far as “Caring Bridge” is concerned.  I feel it is only best that I provide a brief history of my two years on this journey called life.  Weeks before Christmas 2018, I noticed I just did not feel well.  One of the main symptoms that continued to worsen in such a short time was my ability to catch my breath.  On Christmas Day, I still wasn’t feeling right.  Christmas came and while everyone was enjoying themselves as best as possible, I myself knew something just wasn’t right.  Long story short, my family recommended I seek medical attention and I spent New Years 2019 in the hospital between Penn Highlands Elk and Penn Highlands Dubois, small hospitals in Saint Marys, PA and Dubois, PA.  While in Dubois, the medical professionals determined that I suffer from congestive heart failure which, in the most simplest of terms, basically means that my heart doesn’t function the way it is supposed to.  In April 2019, I was implanted with an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator.  At this point, I began to notice significant changes.  I felt better, was able to return to work and get my hands dirty, and was able to dedicate my precious time to the family I adore so very much.  Unfortunately, this new chapter in my life was short-lived as the holiday season 2019 approached and, once again, I knew something just wasn’t right.  Some of the symptoms I had experienced before had returned.  What was this nightmare?  What is it that is going on now I continued to ask myself?  Countless trips to Penn Highlands Dubois to address the situation and I was under the most basic of understanding that, unfortunately, this was the best it was going to get.  A few weeks ago, I attended a doctors visit with my primary care physician and identified a thought that I had, that being getting a second opinion.  My doctor wasn’t able to say with confidence that she would recommend it mainly because she couldn’t say that in a professional way but, from my understanding, it couldn’t hurt to look into it.  The next day my son-in-law came and transported me to Cleveland Clinic.  I’ve been in Cleveland Clinic ever since.  I’m grateful for the care I have been given to this point but I am in need of additional assistance, that assistance in the form of a new heart.  My heart is too weak to continue performing despite me wanting the strongest of hearts to continue being there for my wife, children, grandchildren, other family, and friends.  My daughters look at me as a hero, my son as his best friend, my grandchildren as “papa,” and my wife as soulmate.  It is my desire with the help of someone willing to donate to continue living this journey called life.