For this pair, every day is Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of this special occasion, we’re running a story about a mother-daughter team here at Children’s. Maria’s daughter Rosalind may be all grown up, but that doesn’t mean Maria isn’t always there for her, especially when the going gets rough…

Mother and daughter team Rosalind Muniz and Maria Pitre Ortiz work together at Children's

As a kid, Rosalind Muniz remembers eagerly waiting for her mom to come home from her job as a scheduling coordinator at Children’s Hospital Boston’s main Operating Room (OR), because young Rosalind found her mother’s stories about quirky coworkers and inspiring patients fascinating.

“When I was young she made Children’s seem so exciting,” says Muniz. “After her stories I’d think to myself, ‘what a cool place to work.’” Then, in 2000, Muniz got the opportunity to see first-hand all the things her mother (Maria Pitre Ortiz) had been talking about when she landed a job in the OR as a front desk assistant. Not surprisingly Muniz took to the job well and it didn’t take long before she was made a schedule coordinator like her mother. The mother-daughter team has worked closely ever since.

“I’ve learned so much for mom over the years, because she knows every aspect of this department so well,” Muniz says. “At the office I try to see her as a co-worker, but every time I have a work question all I have to do is turn my head and my mom’s right there with the answer. In some ways, it’s just like it was when I was a kid.”

Having her mother’s help with work queries is convenient, but when her health took an unexpected turn for the worse Muniz says her mother’s support, both in and out of the workplace, played a crucial role in her recovery. Not long after she became a full-time Children’s employee, Muniz suddenly was taken by blurred vision and partial hearing loss. After a trip to the emergency room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.

As she regained her strength, Muniz was eager to get back to work and be around familiar faces and surroundings. While she always knew working with her mother was a nice aspect of her job, it wasn’t until after her MS diagnosis that Muniz realized how special their situation really was. “No matter who you are, when you get sick, the first person you look for is your mommy,” she says. “I’m happy to say that mine is sitting right beside me.”

“No matter who you are, when you get sick, the first person you look for is your mommy,”

Because having MS means she can have medical emergencies without warning, Muniz says having her mother nearby is a great comfort to her. “About a year ago I had a flare-up at work and I couldn’t walk and was extremely fatigued,” says Muniz. “My mom was right there to take me to the emergency room when I needed it.”

Close calls and ER trips aside, what these two women really enjoy about working together is the extra time it affords them to be together. “These days, when children grow up and move out on their own, parents hardly get to see them, outside of holidays and special occasions” says Ortiz. “I’m lucky to see Rosalind Monday through Friday. We eat lunch every day and laugh at the simple things.”

What about you? Do you have a mom that’s there for you when the chips are down? How has your mother inspired you to do great things? Please share stories about your mom in our comments section…

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