US nurse discovers doctor colleague was premature baby she cared for 28 years ago

Ms Vilma Wong, a nurse at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, recently crossed paths with Dr Brandon Seminatore, a medical resident at the hospital who's training to be a child neurologist.
Ms Vilma Wong, a nurse at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, recently crossed paths with Dr Brandon Seminatore, a medical resident at the hospital who's training to be a child neurologist.PHOTO: FACEBOOK / STANDFORD CHILDREN HEALTH

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK - It seemed a stroke of fate when one nurse from Palo Alto, California got to reunite with one of the premature babies she cared for 28 years ago in the very same hospital where it all started.

Ms Vilma Wong, a nurse at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, recently crossed paths with Dr Brandon Seminatore, a medical resident at the hospital who's training to be a child neurologist.

Twenty years ago, when Dr Seminatore was born, he weighed only 1kg. As reported by The East Bay Times on Monday (Sept 3), Dr Seminatore spent more than 40 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (Nicu) with a breathing tube, where he was cared for by Ms Wong.

The encounter between the two was shared on Facebook on Aug 16 by the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. In the post, the page shared a photo of a young Ms Wong cradling the infant Dr Seminatore on her lap. In another photo, Ms Wong and Dr Seminatore can be seen posing next to each other inside the hospital, both wearing their scrubs.

"A chance encounter at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has led to a heart warming reunion between nurse and patient," the page stated.

"Brandon, one of our pediatric residents, was born 28 years ago in our Nicu - then just 29 weeks old. Vilma was his primary care nurse."

Almost 30 years have passed since that fateful moment, but Ms Wong was far from forgetting the little baby she cared for. As per report, all medical residents were required to check in at the nurse's station before examining the premature babies in the Nicu. It was here when Ms Wong spotted Dr Seminatore and asked him who he was.

"His last name sounded very familiar," Ms Wong was quoted as saying. "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. I then got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same last name.''

Dr Seminatore, however, looks far removed from the tiny premature infant that once had been under Ms Wong's care. Today, he stands at 1.72m tall and weighs 61kg, although he still bears the same eyes and expression.

For him, meeting Ms Wong was a "surreal experience".

Dr Seminatore said: "She cares deeply for her patients, to the point that she was able to remember a patient's name almost three decades later.''

As for Ms Wong? She considers meeting Dr Seminatore for the second time the pay-off of her mission. She said in the report: "As a nurse, it's kind of like your reward."