Nurse discovers premature baby she cared for 28 years ago is now her colleague and the pictures are everything
A nurse got a heartwarming surprise when she discovered that one of her colleagues was a premature baby that she had cared for 28 years ago.
Vilma Wong, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, thought she recognised the name of Brandon Seminatore, a second-year paediatric neurology resident.
"Brandon was on my team and taking care of one of my patients. I asked who he was and his last name sounded very familiar," she told the hospital's website. "I kept asking questions, like where he was from and he told me he was from San Jose, and that as a matter of fact, he was a premature baby born at our hospital. I then got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same last name."
"To confirm my suspicion, I asked him if his dad was a police officer. And there was a big silence. Then he asked me if I was Vilma. I said yes! 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."
As it turns out, Seminatore's mother, who had kept a photo of Wong holding her son, had asked him to ask around for the nurse when he started his residency, but he simply assumed that she would have retired by then.
Seminatore, who was born weighing only two pounds and six ounces in April 1990 after an emergency C-section, told Mercury News that he couldn't believe that Wong remembered caring for him.
"Meeting Vilma was a surreal experience," he said. "She cares deeply for her patients, to the point that she was able to remember a patient’s name almost three decades later."
"Meeting Vilma showed me the dedication and love she has for her career,” Brandon continued. Not all of us will get the chance to see our patients grow up, and I was so happy to be able to share that moment with her."
Wong has been a nurse in the NICU at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital for 32 years now. Speaking about her career, Wong stated "Although it is a very challenging profession, being a NICU nurse is also very rewarding. I consider myself very lucky to be in a profession that I love, and to make a difference in somebody’s life."
She told the Mercury News that it was "a joy" to meet Seminatore once more, and as a healthy adult to boot. "As a nurse, it's kind of like your reward."
Seminatore echoed Wong's sentiments when reflecting on the bond they share. "We all try to give our patients the best chance to grow up happy and healthy. This story is for families with children who have had a rough start in life. I want to give them hope."