NICU nurse discovers her new colleague is the premature baby she cared for 28 years ago
Imagine watching your patient grow up, Vilma had a chance to see that. It was a pleasant surprise when her she met the man who she cared for nearly three decades ago.
A nurse in California had the surprise of a lifetime when she discovered that her new colleague would be someone she took care of 28 years ago when he was born in the same hospital. 54-year-old Vilma Wong was told that the new doctor in the block was one Brandon Seminatore, a name she recognized but could not place despite her best efforts. Metro reported that Vilma, who has been working in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California for 32 years, had taken care of and nursed Brandon when he was prematurely born in the hospital at 29 weeks nearly three decades ago.
A conversation with Brandon revealed that he was a new doctor at the hospital and that he was also born there. That sparked Vilma's memory, and she recalled who her colleague was. "I got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same name," she explained, talking about her reaction when she saw his name for the first time. "I asked him if his dad was a police officer and there was a big silence and he asked if I was Vilma," she continued. "I said, 'Yes.' Apparently, his mother asked him to look for nurse Vilma in the NICU, but he told his mom that I was probably retired by now."
Brandon, possibly inspired by his own survival story, followed the path to become a doctor and is now specializing in child neurology. "I was in shock initially but overjoyed to know that I took care of him almost 30 years ago and now, he's a pediatric resident to the same population he was part of when he was born," Vilma explained.
Unsurprisingly, Brandon was just as thrilled to run into his first-ever nurse. "Meeting Vilma was a surreal experience," he said. "I never expected to meet a provider who took care of me when I was a baby. When Vilma recognized my name, I remembered the photos my parents had shown me and it truly sunk in that I was one of these babies."
The doctor was referencing a photo taken when he was born that showed Vilma cradling him on her lap while in a rocking chair in the ward. He had texted his parents as soon as he and Vilma made the connection, and they replied straight away with the picture from 28 years earlier. "I've come full circle and I'm taking care of babies with the nurse who took care of me," Brandon said incredulously. "Not all of us get the chance to see our patients grow up and I was so happy to be able to share that moment with her."