“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.”
Culture of Kindness
Grateful patient Zoie Carney shares thanks and praise for her caregivers
The day after high school sweethearts Dave and Zoie Carney married (45 years ago), they packed up and moved from their native Minnesota to sunny California. They never looked back.
They settled in Palos Verdes in 1988, where Zoie had a thriving career as an occupational therapist. “I’ve worked in facilities including all the Providence Little Company of Mary ministries for the past 35 years,” she smiles. “From acute rehab, sub-acute rehab, burn and wound care, I’ve worked in every environment from NICU to end of life.”
Dave was in fuel retail with two Chevron stations and owned an auto repair business for 33 years. A fun part of owning the auto repair business for Dave with his sunny disposition was volunteering with Los Hermanos, National Charity League, Booster Clubs and more to demonstrate basic auto safety and auto maintenance and repair for new drivers. Zoie as well with her kind, happy-go-lucky giving heart has volunteered in many charities. The community-minded couple, who retired in 2018, are longtime supporters of Providence Little Company of Mary.
A long journey home
It all began on a Saturday in August 2022. Zoie was cleaning up after hosting a luncheon at her home when she became extremely ill. A fit person with a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits, Zoie knew something was terribly wrong. In the emergency department at Providence Little Company of Mary, Zoie was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and immediately admitted for emergency surgery.
After surgery, Zoie spent 28 days in the hospital as she healed. She went home for four days and was readmitted with another illness that left her in the hospital for another month.
While the hospital stays were marked by worry and stress, they were made easier by the loving and compassionate care she received from physicians and caregivers. “I couldn’t have had better, more loving or more competent care,” she smiles. “I mean, the Providence Little Company of Mary caregivers are absolutely the best, most kind on earth.” Dave concurs. “There was so much worry and uncertainty, but the hospitalists, the nurses and the PICC line crew were simply amazing with us. Even the housekeeping caregivers were extraordinary. Every person we encountered — even the caregiver who transported her down to her CT scan — every single person together made up a miraculous team of healers. They are in a league of their own.”
Zoie ultimately had a third surgery with another three-week hospital stay to completely correct her issue. Two days after her third surgery, she had a sudden feeling in her stomach that she knew wasn’t right. Seconds later, she went into cardiac arrest. Julia Wyrick, R.N., a new nurse on the job for less than a year, didn’t hesitate. She hopped on the bed and started chest compressions until the Code Blue team arrived. “Julia’s fast thinking saved Zoie and kept her from having residual issues. She saved the day,” Dave shares.
Getting Zoie back
After being in the hospital on and off from August 2022 to February 2023, Zoie is home and doing well and is back to her daily walks. She and Dave are filled with gratitude for their experience. “The staff comforted and cared for me as much as they did Zoie,” says Dave. “It just gave all of us so much peace of mind. And now I’ve got Zoie back.”
Overcome with gratitude for her care, Zoie handwrote letters to 13 caregivers, and the couple made gifts in their names, along with an additional gift to the nursing scholarship program. “These donations were a token of our deep and sincere gratitude to these extraordinary professionals. There’s a culture of kindness here, and that’s very healing.”
More Nonprofit Stories
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.