California Nurse Discovers Premature Baby She Cared for 28 Years Ago Is Now Her Colleague
Since then, she’s seen tens of thousands of babies come through the unit, but never forgot about him.
Twenty-eight years ago, neonatal intensive care nurse Vilma Wong cared for a premature baby, Brandon Seminatore, who weighed only 2 lbs., and 6 oz.
Since then, she’s seen tens of thousands of babies come through the unit, The Mercury News reports, but never forgot about him, even when she came face-to-face with him as an adult at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
Last month, according to the newspaper, Wong was at work when she saw a second-year pediatric resident in blue scrubs near one of the incubators. She asked him who he was.
When the doctor told her his name, it “sounded very familiar,” she told The Mercury News.
“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,” said Wong, 54. “I then got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same last name.”
When she asked him if his dad was a police officer, their special connection immediately became clear.
“There was a big silence,’’ she said, “and then he asked if I was Vilma.’’
Seminatore told the news outlet that “meeting Vilma was a surreal experience.”
He added: “She cares deeply for her patients, to the point that she was able to remember a patient’s name almost three decades later.”
After the hospital posted their reunion story on Facebook, it was shared over 4,000 times.
Wong told ITV news that she 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.”
Seminatore, 28, told The Mercury News that after he reunited with Wong, he texted his parents. His dad, retired San Jose police officer David Seminatore, then dug up the photo of Wong holding his baby boy — who had just had his breathing tube removed — in the NICU.
“As a nurse,’’ Wong told the newspaper about seeing Seminatore again, “it’s kind of like your reward.’’