Nurse discovers 28-year-old colleague was premature baby she cared for

Alicia Farmer
September 5, 2018

Wong's curiosity grew, so at one point she just asked Seminatore.

Stanford Children's Health Lucille Packard Children's Hospital Stanford shared the story and photos on its Facebook page last month. "And that as a matter of fact, he was a premature baby born at our hospital".

He spent 40 days in the unit and Wong helped him grow to a still-small 2.3 kilograms.

Vilma said she was initially in shock about the meeting, "But overjoyed to know that I took care of him nearly 30 years ago and now he's a paediatric resident to the same population he was part of when he was born". And there was a big silence.

Seminatore said his parents told him about his premature condition as a baby and that they had to keep him with a nurse to make sure he was OK. He had always known who she was, but meeting her face to face was "surreal", he said. "They helped calm a lot of our fears".

Seminatore was stunned Wong remembered caring for him 28 years ago - out of the tens of thousands of kids who have passed through the unit since then. He knew Wong's name because she and fellow nurse Kas Pilon are often talked about in their family and remembered for their care of Seminatore as an infant.

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Seminatore said when he began his residency, his mother had asked him to look for Nurse Vilma in the NICU, but he had assumed she would have retired.

Despite the almost three decades in between, and the thousands of babies Wong has since cared for after Seminatore was discharged, she immediately recognized his name when she heard it.

Once Seminatore realized he had found Wong, he immediately texted his parents. Brandon, one of our pediatric residents, was born 28 years ago in our NICU-then just 29 weeks old. In another photo, Wong and Seminatore can be seen posing next to each other inside the hospital, both wearing their scrubs. Wong, who is 54 now, isn't leaving any time soon.

It turned out to be Seminatore, who is now training to become a child neurologist.

A chance encounter at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has led to a heart-warming reunion between nurse and... For Wong, heartwarming interactions like this are "kind of like your reward" for being a caregiver.

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