Caregivers Team Up to Care for Patient’s Dog After Emergency

Published: January 12, 2023

LANSING, MI – When caregivers at E.W. Sparrow Hospital learned one of their patient’s four-legged family members was in danger this week, they went above and beyond to make sure she was OK, even cleaning up after her and providing a place to stay.

David McKenna of Lansing suffered a medical emergency last Thursday and was incapacitated on the floor of his home for four days with his four-year-old black lab, Matilda, at his side. First responders eventually arrived but Matilda had no place to go.

“David told me that he had a dog at home, that no one was at home with her,” said Sparrow surgical specialties nurse Lauren Corbit. “I couldn’t get a hold of his family and really didn’t know what else to do, but I couldn’t let it go so I went to Jodi for help.”

David McLenna's Dog, Matilda the Black Lab

Matilda relaxes at Sparrow nurse Jodi Davis’s house.

Jodi Davis, RN, a compassionate nurse care manager and dog lover, acted quickly. With McKenna’s permission, Davis and her son went to his house, cleaned up the mess the dog had made, took Matilda to be groomed and then let her stay overnight at her home.

“David told me to just take her to the pound, but that was never an option,” Jodi said. “I have dogs and I love animals, and I would hope someone would do that for me. And plus, a patient cannot heal and focus on their own wellness if they are distraught about an animal, a family member, any of those things.”

Sparrow caregivers shared photos of Matilda with McKenna, providing relief during a stressful time.

“Those are not things that you see in today's world. It makes me feel so much better,” McKenna said.

Eventually, Davis was able to reunite Matilda with David’s son, but not before performing one more act of kindness.

“I was able to give him an extra cage to keep the dog in. And then I had everything he needed for the dog,” she said. “Honestly, Matilda's reaction was the best. Her tail was just wagging nonstop. She was so excited, and he was equally excited that she was cared for.”

While thankful for the compassionate caregivers at Sparrow, McKenna is looking forward to healing and returning home to his brave four-legged loved one.

For more information on Sparrow’s compassionate caregivers, go to


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is part of University of Michigan Health. Through the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit