- [S74] Atchley Funeral Home Records, Volume IV, 1987-1999, Larry D. Fox, (Smoky Mountain Historical Society), 27 Dec 1992.
Oliver Pink Rauhuff, Jr. obituary
- [S106] The Mountain Press, 28 Jun 2013.
Breathing easier, lung patient starts nonprofit
Rick Bohanan (second from left) feels better after joining a clinical trial. He is with Connie Carter, Nancy Meredith and Tom Jablonski.
When Rick Bohanan came in for his follow-up appointment at LeConte Cardiology, Dr. Roger Riedel was incredulous.
“He just kept saying, ‘You’re here. You’re here,’” said Bohanan’s wife, Brenda. “We thought something was wrong with Dr. Riedel.”
“I had an appointment, and I showed him my card,” added Rick.
Riedel never thought Rick Bohanan would make it to his follow-up appointment.
A few months earlier, Riedel had diagnosed Bohanan with a severe case of pulmonary hypertension, a rare disease that results in high blood pressure in the lung arteries, forcing the right side of the heart to work harder than usual.
Bohanan, 46, started experiencing symptoms a few years ago, when he began having “massive sweats” and noticed that his skin sometimes had a bluish tint. Still, it took an ambulance trip after losing consciousness to get him to the doctor.
At the time, Bohanan was living in Florida, where he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, diabetes and compulsive obstructive pulmonary disease. Though he didn’t know it then, COPD was the onset of pulmonary hypertension, as discovered by Riedel, who said it was the most severe case he had seen.
Three weeks ago, Bohanan joined a clinical trial using a device called Trilogy.
“It’s basically a machine that helps support breathing and reduces the work of breathing for the patient,” said Jay Jordan, a registered respiratory therapist for American Home Patient.
“It’s amazing how I feel now,” said Bohanan. “It’s a world of difference.”
While Bohanan is grateful for the improvement to his quality of life, the ultimate goal is to keep him alive until he can undergo a heart and lung transplant at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
The Bohanans believe that God has placed the right people in Rick’s life to help him cope with the disease, which he describes as “an illness that wipes out your whole body.”
“I can’t go through this at my age without knowing something positive will come out of it,” Bohanan said. “If I can help just one person, it will be worth it. That’s why I’m still here.”
With that goal in mind, Rick and his wife, Brenda, started a local nonprofit organization, Give a Breath of Life, to help Sevier County lung patients purchase oxygen or other medical supplies that may not be covered by insurance.
Rick said his mission with the organization is two-fold. While helping others in need is an important component of the organization, his greater goal is to share the gospel message with others.
“If one person gets saved, that’s a whole new breath of life,” agreed Brenda.
“Everyone who comes into contact with Rick and Brenda think of them as family,” Jordan said. “It’s God-directed. That’s for sure, and Rick’s faith has kept him going.”
Bohanan, who has already lived 10 months longer than his doctors predicted, said he is in a win-win situation: “If the disease takes me home, I will be in a better place. If it doesn’t, I’ll have more time to help others.”
A gospel singing featuring One Accord, as well as other local artists, will be held at the Sevier County Church of God to benefit Rick Bohanan and cancer patient Brenda Wilson on Sunday at 7 p.m. All proceeds will be used to cover medical expenses.
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
Groom's Name Bride's First Name Bride's Maiden Name County Date of Marriage File #
BOHANAN RICKY L JENNIFER R [NOT GIVEN] SEVIER 03-25-1988 10399
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
76085 RICKY LEON BOHANAN JENNIFER VICTORIA RAUHUFF
- [S131] Divorce Record.
Husband's Name Wife's First Name Wife's Maiden Name County Court Date of Divorce File #
BOHANAN RICKY L JENNIFER V RAUHUFF SEVIER CIRCUIT 03-13-1995 06159