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From Coma to Comeback


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



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.”

From Coma to Comeback

The Phillips Habibi family’s close ties to the hospital have deep roots

Norma Phillips remembers the day in 2010 when everything changed. She’d been diagnosed with hepatitis C, and her treatments weren’t working. Feeling poorly, she called her daughter, Emily Habibi, to check on her. When Emily arrived, she knew something was terribly wrong. Not wasting a minute, Emily reached out to Norma’s neighbor, Providence Saint Joseph physician Daniel Eisenberg, M.D.

Dr. Eisenberg took one look at Norma and called an ambulance. “When we got her to Saint Joseph, all of her organs were failing,” remembers Emily. “She was in an induced coma for months. Once they stopped inducing it, it took her six more weeks to wake up. We had to wait and hope.”

Emily, her brother Tyler, and their dad, Ed Phillips, spent many mornings at the hospital in what Ed called their “Eggs and God” ritual, Emily recalls. “The hospital became a second home, and I felt very comfortable there. We would meet for breakfast and go to the chapel to pray before going up and seeing Mom.”

It was hard on the family, but their resilience, shared sense of humor and trust in the medical center kept them buoyed. “She had amazing care,” says Emily. “The nursing care was really something extraordinary. We would go to bed at night and know she was in good hands.”

Norma’s yearlong journey ultimately resulted in a kidney and liver transplant at UCLA. “Dr. Eisenberg helped us get her back to Providence Saint Joseph because of their excellent rehab program,” says Emily. “We had to get her back on her feet after a year in bed.”

Today, Norma is a healthy and happy grandmother of Emily’s three beautiful children, Scarlette, 12, Vinny, 11, and Lennox, 6, and Tyler’s two wonderful children, Maddox and Mattea. “I was at death’s door,” says Norma. “I am forever indebted to Providence Saint Joseph. I was very well cared for.”

For her part, Emily is glad to have her mother back. “I feel intense gratitude toward the hospital,” she says. “They saved my mother’s 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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