Muriel Edwards, resident at Life Care Center of Jefferson City, got the thrill of a lifetime when she met her favorite country singer, Randy Travis.
While Muriel had been in therapy at the facility, her clinicians found out that she was easily Randy Travis’s “number-one fan.” So, occupational therapy assistant Zoe Moonwood gifted Muriel Randy’s book, "Forever and Ever, Amen," which instantly became a treasured possession that Muriel never parted with –– even though she had trouble with her vision.
Later, occupational therapy assistant Karoline Van Horn gave Muriel a smart speaker for Christmas and taught her how to make it play Randy Travis whenever she wanted. But her speaker didn’t always play Randy Travis when she asked it to do so. On several occasions, the device played songs that were similar to Randy Travis but for Muriel did not capture the magic of his sound.
It didn’t take long for the therapists and therapy assistants to see that Muriel couldn’t get enough of Randy Travis –– and that there was only one thing that could truly fulfill her love for his tunes: a trip to see and hear him live!
Karoline surprised Muriel with Randy Travis concert tickets and Karoline, her husband, and Muriel’s son all accompanied Muriel to the concert in Pigeon Forge, TN.
But still, Karoline didn’t think even hearing and seeing Randy live would be enough for a devoted fan like Muriel. So, she and the others whisked Muriel backstage to meet the country legend face to face! Karoline had been in contact with Randy’s agent who had connected her with Mary Travis, Randy’s wife.
Mary asked Muriel to wait a few minutes until the other backstage attendees had gotten a chance to meet and take pictures with Randy, as she wanted Muriel to spend quality time with the troubadour.
Randy and Muriel connected instantly and talked for a long time. Muriel told him she knew he was going to be a star when she saw him as Randy Traywick on The Ralph Emery Show back in 1984. Before they parted, Randy took Muriel’s hand and told her how much he appreciated her coming to see him.
Like Muriel, Randy has faced many health challenges in the last few years. In 2013, at the age of 54, he suffered a massive stroke that nearly killed him and left him unable to speak or walk.
Thanks to physical, occupational and speech therapies –– and an unshakable will –– Randy is not only speaking and walking but also singing and touring! And his songs are still touching those like Muriel who are facing and overcoming their own health hurdles.
Muriel shared that seeing and meeting Randy was a “once-in-a-lifetime” event, and she thanks everyone who helped her experience this special moment. Of that unforgettable day, Muriel now has pictures to share, stories to tell and memories to keep –– forever and ever, amen.