Someone is doing their job right.

Some say fate, some say coincidence. Whatever it is, people crossing paths again under extraordinary circumstances is definitely something special. Just take for example the story of new father David Caldwell and his son Zayne.

Caldwell and his fiancée Renata Freydin welcomed their first child together on January 30. Born 10 weeks early, the infant was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

While it’s hard to see defining features on a newborn baby, the excited new parents wanted to see similarities between father and son, which meant old photo hunting. The similarities they found in those pictures were not nearly what they were expecting.

David Caldwell and his nurse in 1986!

Posted by Renata Freydin on Saturday, February 15, 2020

When Freydin saw her fiancé’s baby photo, she instantly realized something remarkable. It turns out that the nurse who took care of Caldwell when he was born -also several weeks early- was the very same nurse taking care of their new-born, Zayne.

Caldwell couldn’t believe it. It was just too surreal of a coincidence. But the resemblance was too great to be ignored. So, they brought in the photo and two of the other nurses confirmed it. Nurse Lissa McGowan cared for Caldwell 33 years ago and was now caring for his son.

Even after being confirmed, Caldwell still found the whole thing unbelievable. The baby book where the picture came from was only barely intact. Amazingly, the photo of him and McGowan taken on the day he was discharged remained. It’s as if the world knew we need moments like this in our lives.

On Valentine’s Day, the couple told McGowan about her special connection with one of her current patients and his father. The news came to her as equally astounding.

McGowan started working at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in 1981. Despite her decades-long career in the hospital, she’d never imagined a former patient coming back to her life in the way Caldwell did. The connection is touching and astonishing at the same time it’s very Oprah-material.

McGowan was part of the team when baby Zayne was admitted to the NICU after he was born. She remembers speaking with Caldwell, trying to pacify the new dad when his son was placed under neonatal care. At the time, little did she know that she was speaking with someone she also happened to care for more than 30 years ago.

Our Zayne and the same nurse now.

Posted by Renata Freydin on Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has a very extensive NICU. Every year, the department cares for about 1,500 premature babies with 120 staff members. Hence, Caldwell and his son being assigned to the same nurse, decades apart, is awe-inspiring. Caldwell, meanwhile, sees this remarkable event of things lining up together as a sign that his mother, who passed away in 2004, is looking out for him and his family.

Nurse Lissa was his mother’s favorite nurse when she gave birth to him. He believes his mother wanted to make sure that her grandson is in good hands, just like how Caldwell was more than 30 years ago.

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