A neonatal nurse recently made the astonishing discovery that a baby she looked after in intensive care nearly three decades earlier is now one of her colleagues.
Vilma Wong, 54, works as an NICU nurse at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, and has been part of the staff team for 32 years. Dr. Brandon Seminatore, 28, is completing his residency at the same medical center.
Dr. Seminatore was born at the same hospital in April 1990, at 29 weeks gestation. He required months of care from Wong and a team of other medical professionals who helped nurse him back to full health.
Recently, after almost three decades, the pair were reunited under the most extraordinary of circumstances.
When Wong noticed Seminatore’s name on a staffing list, she couldn’t help but shake the feeling she had seen it before. It was only when the junior doctor noted in passing that he was born at the hospital that Wong finally had her lightbulb moment.
“A few weeks ago Brandon joined my team and was taking care of one of my patients,” Wong explained, according to the Independent. “I asked who he was and his name and last name sounded very familiar.”
“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,” she said. “I then got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same last name. I asked him if his dad was a police officer and there was a big silence and then he asked me if I was Vilma — I said yes.”
Seminatore explained how his mother had asked him to look out for a nurse named “Vilma,” but the doctor was convinced she would have retired by now. To his amazement, she was still working on the wards. The 28-year-old described the meeting as “surreal.”
“I never expected to meet a provider who took care of me when I was a baby,” he said. “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. I’ve come full-circle and I’m taking care of babies with the nurse that took care of me.”
Wong shared the same sentiment.
“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,” she said.
A chance encounter at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has led to a heart-warming reunion between nurse and…
Wong noted that it was “really special to see that almost thirty years later Brandon has a passion to treat patients who are in the same position he was all those years ago.”
For Seminatore, the stoic nurse has inspired him to dedicate his life to providing the very best care possible for his patients.
“Meeting Vilma showed me the dedication and love she has for her career,” 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.”
“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,” he added.
(H/T: The Independent)