Pediatric nurses can make a life-changing impact on our lives. Yet, because we interact with them at such an early age, we often don’t even remember who they are or what they look like.
A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse had an unexpectedly rewarding moment when a man who she’d cared for as a newborn came back into the NICU with his own son. Nurse Lissa McGowan cared for both father and son — 34 years apart.
The man, David Caldwell, welcomed his son Zayne Alexander Caldwell 10 weeks early. The baby boy was admitted into the NICU at Saint Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
David didn’t realize, at first, that the nurse caring for Zayne was the same one from his own early days.
It wasn’t until he was flipping through a book of his own baby pictures to compare himself to his son that his wife, Renata Freydin, spotted the nurse in the photos.
David had been born prematurely, too, and Lissa was his mom’s favorite nurse. The two even took a photo together on the day that he was discharged from the NICU.
“We brought the [photo] in, and two of the other nurses confirmed that it was [Lissa],” David told Good Morning America.
Lissa was shocked when David came in to show her the photo.
“I have never had this happen before,” she said. “It’s kind of unusual having your preemie come back after 34 years … but to have a dad come in and be the dad of a preemie is a whole other story.”
There are 20 nurses working in the unit on any given day, Lissa added. So the fact that the universe aligned for her to be with Zayne is quite an amazing coincidence.
Thankfully, the baby boy is doing well under Lissa and the NICU team’s care. “He’s a fighter,” David says.
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