A California nurse was stunned after she found herself working alongside a child she treated 28 years earlier.
Vilma Wong, 52, first met Brandon Seminatore, 28, at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford when he was born just 29 weeks into his mother’s pregnancy.
Following his premature birth Wong tended to him for around a month before he was well enough to go home with his parents to San Jose though his thoughtful carer never forgot his name.
When she met him as he did his morning rounds at the same hospital he was born at last month, it rang a bell with Wong, and it was revealed the second-year pediatric neurology resident was in fact the baby she bonded with almost three decades ago.
‘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 said. ‘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.’
Wong even remembered details about his parents, prompting her to further investigate whether Seminatore was indeed who she thought.
‘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!’ she exclaimed.
The pair may have found each other sooner.
Seminatore’s mother encouraged him to ask for Wong when he began the job in Palo Alto but he thought the idea of her still working on the ward was far-fetched.
Wong has worked at the hospital for 32 years and said she cannot believe the story has come full circle with her former patient now helping those who are in the position he once was.
‘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 said.
‘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.’
Semiatore added that the primary care nurse has inspired his own career path.
The heart-warming reunion made him reflect on just how lucky they both are to being healthy lives today as a result of the hospital’s care.
‘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.’
It’s some thing many people who know her, friends and patients agree with.
The hospital’s Facebook post about the coincidence went viral with lots of comments, shares and likes.
‘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,’ he added.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Leah Simpson