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Patient Stories:Chris and Muffi
Margaret “Muffi” Lavigne and Chris Plum celebrated their first wedding anniversary on October 5, 2014 at Hospital for Special Care. Why Hospital for Special Care? Because this is where they met, this is where they married in 2013, and this is where they live.
Muffi and Chris share many things in common, including independent college and work histories and a love of photography and music. They also share similar types of muscular dystrophy, a group of progressive neuromuscular disorders, which brought them to Hospital for Special Care.
Muffi describes her caregivers at Hospital for Special Care as “attentive” and “professional.” She likes that they give her a “choice” during treatment and therapy, allowing her to have greater input in her care.
When he first arrived, Chris could not breathe without the assistance of his ventilator for more than 20 minutes. Working with his clinical team at Hospital for Special Care, he has since pushed that time to over 12 hours. “There is no hard sell. The clinicians work with me, at my pace, and have never felt heavy handed,” says Chris. Importantly Chris says he “trusts the clinical staff. That is why I can, at times, go without my ventilator for over half the day.”
Chris certainly did not know that he would find the “love of his life” at Hospital for Special Care. Chris unabashedly admits that he was “not really sure finding true happiness was ever going to happen” – but it did.
Muffi and Chris spend their days together talking, reading, sharing music and watching movies. They also photograph the hospital and its environs, capturing subtle images overlooked by many. Muffi and Chris are enthusiastic participants in Hospital for Special Care’s Joy of Art! Program which illustrates the value of art in the healing process, complimenting traditional therapies in recovery and improving the quality of life for patients.
Muffi says that as long as she and Chris “are together, wherever that is, it is home.”
The union of Muffi and Chris embodies Hospital for Special Care’s mission of ensuring exemplary care for our patients so that they can achieve enduring independence and improvements in the quality of their lives.
Sadly, Muffi passed away in February of 2016. A New York Times article celebrates her life: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/nyregion/margaret-lavigne-advocate-for-people-with-disabilities-dies-at-44.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0