For Harry Bobos, putting in a 12-hour day as a mechanic was not unusual — and he often worked on a project or two in his spare time.
“His most recent thing was, we purchased a new home that needed a lot of fixing up,” said his wife, Nancy Bobos. “He wanted to do that for us. We’ve lived 23 years in our last house, and we’re cramped where we at.”
Then there have been countless hours of coaching — with his daughters’ Ashley/Hanover Township Sofball team, Hanover Junior High Softball and the Wyoming Valley Flames as well as his son’s Wilkes-Barre Cosmo Soccer League, Heights Little League and Heights All-Stars.
“He and his buddy actually built a softball field in Honey Pot,” Nancy Bobos said.
But lately, Harry Bobos’ health has forced him to slow down a bit.
The 50-year-old Hanover Township resident received a new lung Jan. 20 during an eight-hour operation at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, close to four years after he learned he had a condition called interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, which made breathing extremely difficult and put his life at risk.
Her husband is recuperating after the transplant, Nancy Bobos said, though he did have a setback on Friday when blood clots were discovered in his leg. “That was a blow for our whole family,” she said.
Still, by the end of this week, she said, doctors were optimistic he’d be able to move out of the hospital and into a nearby Good Shepherd Rehabilitation facility.
Despite that good news Harry Bobos and his family, which includes his wife, son Corey, 26, and daughters Haylee, 16, and Emilee, 12, still face some hardships, including medical, transportation expenses and thousands of dollars worth of prescription medication just in the first year after an organ transplant.
Nancy Bobos has taken leave from her job with Manor Care so she could spend time with her husband, and Harry Bobos has had to take time off from his job at MotorWorld.
While they’d much prefer to give help rather than receive it, Nancy Bobos said the family is grateful for the way members of the community have rallied around them.
“Everybody’s been wonderful,” she said, noting her daughter Haylee’s basketball coach, Vic Kopko, has taken up a collection for the family at every game. “That money I have used for gas and for tolls,” she said.
One of Haylee’s teachers at Hanover Area High School, Jocelyn Holodick, organized a “Zumbathon for Harry” in early February to help the family, and another group of friends has organized a benefit set for 1 to 6 p.m. March 22 at the Ashley Firehouse, 160 Ashley St., Ashley.
Tickets, T-shirts, bracelets and hearts are being sold, friends are donating food and baskets, and a Harry Bobos Benefit Account has been set up at M&T Bank.
“It’s just really amazing,” Nancy Bobos said of the community support. “You don’t realize how many people you know or how many people care until something like this happens.”