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A Life Hanging in the Balance with COVID-19

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Many lives have been saved and families forever changed thanks in part to the generous support of our donors.

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A dedicated and compassionate caregiver at St. Joseph Hospital for decades, Melvin Schwartz and his wife demonstrated their friendship and support for the Hospital by establishing a legacy through a generous charitable planned gift.”

A Life Hanging in the Balance with COVID-19

Gregg Garfield was our medical center’s first COVID-19 positive patient, and one of the earliest people to be diagnosed with coronavirus in the United States.

Gregg contracted the coronavirus while on a skiing trip in Italy. He was admitted to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s emergency department soon after his return.

One of the most challenging aspects of COVID-19 is the virus’s unpredictable nature: mild in many cases, and severe even in those who have no underlying health conditions. A longtime physical fitness buff, Gregg fell into the latter category and quickly manifested a life-threatening case of the coronavirus.

Gregg’s COVID-19 infection led to pneumonia. His lungs collapsed four times, and his kidneys failed. With this array of serious complications and no known treatment for coronavirus, Providence Saint Joseph’s clinicians gave Gregg a 1% chance of survival.

Their only hope was to tirelessly treat Gregg’s symptoms and begin a medically induced coma. While they struggled to give Gregg time to fight the underlying viral infection, months passed, in which Gregg lost close to 50 pounds.

Finally, happily, he recovered. Gregg was released from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in early May after 64 days in the hospital, 31 of them in a medically induced coma.

Thanks to our heroes at Saint Joseph – the 185 caregivers took care of Gregg during his stay—the medical center now celebrates this story of survival while continuing the fight against COVID-19 for so many others. Dr. Nora Barsoum, one of the many who took care of Gregg, described him as “Our 64-day miracle!”

Upon recovering, Gregg’s message to the doctors and nurses of Providence Saint Joseph was simple. “Thank you,” he said. “Thank you for saving my life.”

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Contact Us

Call: 818-847-4673
Address: 501 S Buena Vista St, Burbank, CA 91505
Email: psjfoundation@providence.org

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