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NICU Nurse Treats Son of a Patient From 30 Years Ago in Sweet Surprise

"The past two weeks have been filled with worries and uncertainty, but we can breathe easy knowing my lil nugget's nurse is the same one that helped the man I love when he was in the same situation.”
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
February 19, 2020
hand holding preemie foot in the nicu
Image: Getty Images

The NICU can be a really hard place for new parents. Often staff members try to make it as loving as possible, even dressing up the babies around holidays. Now, one couple is realizing that their little one is in good hands—the same hands that treated his dad.

Zayne Caldwell was born to Renata Freydin and David Caldwell on January 20, 10 weeks before his due date, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “It came out of nowhere and I just started having contractions,” Renata Freydin, Zayne’s mother, told CNN in an interview. “He wasn’t having any of it. He wanted to come out.”

The couple quickly went to The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, where David himself had been born prematurely over 30 years ago. Zayne was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital, just like dad. As the couple looked through David’s own baby photos three days later, Freydin realized he had had the same nurse their son now did. “I saw the picture and I knew right away it was nurse Lissa,” Freydin told CNN. “He didn’t believe me and said ‘no way, it’s not possible.’”

Lissa McGowan, who is a nurse at the NICU, stated in an interview with My Central Jersey, “We have so many babies who cross our paths, and we have had many who say they had a relative here, but it’s never hit so close to home where it is father and son, not for me. It’s been a very nice surprise."

Of course, once Freydin realized Lissa had cared for both the men in her life, she knew she had to recreate the picture from 30 years ago. "The past two weeks have been filled with worries and uncertainty, but we can breathe easy knowing my lil nugget’s nurse is the same one that helped the man I love when he was in the same situation,” Freydin told My Central Jersey.

She shared the two images side by side on social media, where they have since gone viral, with over 26,000 shares. While Freydin is surprised by the response her post has gotten, she told CNN it has helped get her mind of having Zayne in the NICU.

Born at 3 pounds, 9 ounces, Zayne now weighs 4 pounds, 6 ounces. He’s doing well, his mom told My Central Jersey. McGowan agrees that Zayne is a tough little guy. "The fact that I was the one who crossed paths, it’s kind of interesting,” McGowan told the outlet. “It really could have been any nurse taking care of his baby and I could have never had any contact with him. A lot of people are saying it’s a way of his mom saying everything is going to be okay. Life kind of works in a funny circle.”

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