Through 3 generations and pandemic, South Bay family members devote themselves to health care field

TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) -- For one local family, helping people has been the family business for generations.

They are health care workers who've bravely faced the pandemic and experienced their own tragic loss due to COVID. Still, they are hopeful for the future -- in part because of the strength and bond they share.

Three generations of women each forged a path in the medical field. Daneen Larecy says that the love of helping others actually began with her grandmother.

"When I was about 10, I would go to work with my grandmother at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles," said Daneen, a social worker at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. "From that day on, I knew I wanted to work at a hospital."

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Another contributing factor is Daneen's mother, Toni, an O.R. nurse who eventually worked in hospice care. Which might explain Daneen's own health care legacy. She just celebrated 21 years at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Her daughter, Madisyn, followed in those health care footsteps -- just as the coronavirus began to spread last year.

Toni was able to be there for her granddaughter's graduation, but she eventually contracted COVID-19 and passed away in June.

"In our city alone of Torrance, we're at 260 people just in the small city of Torrance that have passed," said Daneen. "My mom was 162 on that list."

Madisyn says the whole family was affected.

"I was working directly with COVID patients at the time. And my mom works in the emergency room, so she was working with patients who might have COVID, might not. So it was a really scary time," said Madisyn, RN at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

Madisyn credits her family's legacy for giving her strength.

"I'm just so glad that I have my grandma and my mom as an inspiration to me working in health care. I think my mom and grandmother taught me how to care for my patients, how to care for people in general," said Madisyn.

Now, both women enter the hospital together, greeted by signs thanking frontline heroes, nurses, for all that they do and all that they've done for their community.

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