Kelly Clarkson Deems Mercy Nurse ‘Rad Human’ for Helping New Dads Who Lost Wives to COVID-19

May 24, 2022

When a Mercy Fort Smith nurse met a young pregnant COVID patient, Emily Robison, she knew plenty of challenges were ahead for her and for her husband and unborn child. In a world where kindness is sometimes lacking, this Mercy nurse’s kind deed was met with attention from news media across the nation, including Good Morning America, The Washington Post and most recently this week the Kelly Clarkson Show. 

Mercy ICU nurse Ashlee Schwartz took care of Emily for weeks as she battled a severe case of COVID-19. When Emily lost her battle, she left behind her husband, Eric, and newborn daughter, Carmen, who was delivered early at only 29 weeks gestation. 

Mercy Nurse Ashlee Schwartz Honored as a "Rad Human" by Kelly Clarkson

Ashlee helped set up a gift registry for a new dad whose wife was in critical condition with COVID at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. Little did she know that the story would go viral leading to her stepping in to help a second dad who also lost his wife to COVID.

Now, unexpectedly a single dad whose plans for his family were irrevocably transformed, Eric found himself facing an unimaginable loss while caring for a newborn. He had few of the items needed to care for an infant. That’s when Ashlee took action, setting up a baby registry to collect items Eric and Carmen would need, as well as a Go Fund Me account to help support them. 

“Honestly, I don’t know where me and Carmen would be without Ashlee’s endless love and support,” Eric said on the Kelly Clarkson Show. “Starting a baby registry and the GoFundMe … just welcoming us into her life as a family member is just overwhelming.” 

Ashlee Schwartz Ashlee Schwartz, an ICU nurse at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, was declared a "Rad Human" on the Kelly Clarkson Show on May 23, 2022. Ashlee started a baby registry for a Fort Smith dad, Eric Robison, who lost his wife to COVID-19, then helped another new dad in Ohio. (Photo courtesy Ashlee Schwartz)

During a segment that aired May 23, 2022, Ashlee was deemed a “Rad Human” by Kelly Clarkson on her talk show. Eric and Carmen surprised Ashlee by also appearing on the program, as did Jonathon Luvender of Ohio and his daughter, Riley Rose. Jonathon reached out to Ashlee after hearing Eric’s story because he also lost his wife to COVID shortly after the birth of their daughter and was hoping to connect with Eric. True to form, Ashlee jumped in to provide help for Jonathon and Riley just as she had for Eric and Carmen. Both babies are now 8 months old and thriving.