Dan Comes Home to Pat’s House


The timing couldn’t have been better. Just a month after a new fully accessible home opened at L’Arche Boston North, one of our core members living here underwent surgery on his spine. This week Dan came back to Pat’s House, after successful surgery and three weeks of rehab.

While Dan continues to recover with his neck immobilized in a brace, he is using a hospital bed, a specially adapted wheelchair, and other appliances to ease his transition. With and without assistance, he moves easily around the single-floor layout on Valley Street in Merrimac, as if it had been designed with his needs in mind.

Dan’s previous home, Gandhi House, was a rambling three-story house imperfectly retrofitted to the needs of those with physical handicaps. In contrast, Pat’s House works like a dream.

Said Swanna Champlin, community leader, “I was so worried that the house would not be finished before we needed it.” No worries now.

On Friday afternoon, October 14, Dan was welcomed home by fellow members of Pat’s House, including fellow core members Fran, Phil, Tom, and John D. In the photo, Molly is showing Dan a Welcome Home sign, while Phil and Jen look on.

Dan’s sister Pat Buttiglieri said, “When I called him, I could tell he was elated. He was watching ‘Family Feud’ in his own house.”