Vigi Shermont nursing director ­returns with military honours

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Cindy Boivin left her family behind in Magog at the beginning of May when she departed for Montreal to help stabilize a dire COVID-19 outbreak at the CHSLD Vigi Mont-Royal.
Boivin, the nursing director at the CHSLD Vigi Shermont in Sherbrooke, offered up her expertise, because, as she puts it, she would expect someone to do the same for her. She went on to earn a medal of honour from the Canadian Armed Forces.
“I don’t take all of the credit, it was really a team effort,” Boivin said. “If I showed up there alone, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything we did to date.”
Vigi Mont-Royal was hit hard at the onset of the pandemic. According to ­internal documents sent to Radio-Canada, the centre had a 100 per cent infection rate among residents, and 148 staff members contracted the virus.
The Shermont had no COVID-19 cases, explained Boivin, no sick employees or residents. Vigi Santé, the owner of 15 CHSLDs in Quebec, reacted by reaching out to directors in the network.
Boivin spent one month at Vigi Mont-Royal, returning to her Magog home on May 29. She said it was a difficult decision leaving her family for a month and knowing the consequences of working in a high-risk zone.
“It was a challenge for me and an experience I’ll probably never see again because pandemics don’t happen all the time,” she said
With the support of her husband, Patrick Dupuis, and her four children, she felt encouraged to enter a pandemic hot zone. It was a shock to the entire family at first, Dupuis explained.
“It was an adjustment, but we told the kids that she was going to Montreal because one of the values that we hold dear as a family is if someone needs help and we’re able to help them, then we should do that,” he said.
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