Nurse discovers new colleague was premature baby she treated 28 years ago

(Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital)

(Meredith) – A California nurse who cared for a premature baby early in her career reunited with him 28 years later at the same hospital where they first met – only now, her former patient is a doctor.

Vilma Wong was working a day shift earlier this month at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital when she met her new colleague, the Mercury News reported.

He introduced himself as Brandon Seminatore, a second-year pediatric resident who’s training to become a child neurologist.

“His name sounded very familiar,” Wong told the newspaper, adding that she remembered caring for a baby with the same name.

When she asked Seminatore if his dad was a police officer, their special connection became immediately clear.

“There was a big silence,’’ she said, “and then he asked if I was Vilma.’’

Seminatore said he was stunned to find out Wong was the primary care nurse who helped keep him alive nearly three decades ago.

The young resident weighed only 2 pounds and 6 ounces, the size of a small pineapple, when he was born in 1990.

“Meeting Vilma was a surreal experience,” Brandon said in a hospital statement. “When Vilma recognized my name, 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 said she was also shocked, “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.”

After reuniting with Wong, he immediately texted his parents. His father, retired San Jose police officer David Seminatore, then dug up an old photo of Wong holding his baby boy in the NICU.

The hospital shared the photo and their reunion story on Facebook, where it’s been shared more than 4,000 times.

Wong, who has been a nurse at Packard Children’s for 32 years, told the Mercury News she has no plans to retire any time soon.

“Although it is a very challenging profession, being a NICU nurse is also very rewarding,” Wong said. “I consider myself very lucky to be in a profession that I love, and to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

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