NICU nurses work round the clock to make sure the needs of vulnerable babies are met. It's no wonder that some share a very special bond with these infants even after they are discharged from the hospital. This reunion story, however, was probably one of the sweetest we've ever heard of.
28 years ago...
Many years ago, a NICU nurse named Vilma Wong was the primary care person for a preemie baby named Brandon Seminatore. Brandon was born at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, where Vilma worked. The baby was only 29 weeks old at birth.
Because he was a preemie, Brandon had to stay at the NICU for over a month, and in all that time, Vilma was nothing but devoted and committed to helping him and other babies thrive.
Many years later
A recent Facebook post shared by the hospital told the amazing story of the reunion between Brandon and Vilma. After nearly three decades, Brandon, who has now grown up to become one of the pediatric residents at that same hospital, got to reunite with Vilma after the latter recognized his unique surname.
The 'then and now' photo comparison of Vilma and Brandon has been melting hearts all over the internet since it was shared a couple of weeks ago. In one picture, Vilma is sitting on a chair, baby Brandon on her legs. Then, in the second photo, the two of them had matching grins on their faces as they stood side by side for a photo.
Speaking to Babble, Vilma explained that she never imagined a day like this would come. Brandon had been working on Vilma's medical team and they had been caring for tiny little patients together even before they knew who each other was. Then, the nurse began to suspect that he could be a former patient.
Feeling like his last name was very familiar, she approached Brandon in hopes of learning more about him. She told Babble:
I kept asking where he was from and he told me that he was from San Jose, California, 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 he was who she thought him to be, Vilma asked Brandon if his dad was a police officer. It was at that point that the young man made the connection as well, asking if she was "Vilma."
It turned out that Brandon's mom had told him to look out for a nurse named Vilma when he began his residency at the hospital. He thought it was a long shot, since he felt the nurse that cared for him might have retired or was probably working at a different hospital now.
I was in shock initially but overjoyed to know that I took care of him almost 30 years ago and now he’s as a pediatric resident to the same population he was part of when he was born.
Brandon himself was in awe. He told Babble that it was a "surreal experience" and he never imagined he would meet the health care provider who cared for him all those years ago.
Meeting Vilma showed me the dedication and love she has for her career. She cares deeply for her patients, to the point that she was able to remember a patient’s name almost three decades later.
Vilma is definitely one of the most special people out there and she, along with all the amazing NICU nurses all over the world, deserve a standing ovation for the good that they do.