At the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one popular figure has gone viral on Facebook. David Deutchman has been volunteering his time at the hospital in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit (NICU and PICU) for 12 years and has earned the nickname “ICU Grandpa.”
Babies in the NICU are often born premature and need special care and attention. These newborns crave human attention and touch, and that is where Deutchman comes in.
Deutchman has a strict cuddling schedule. On Tuesdays, he visits the older babies in the PICU, and on Thursdays, he visits with the newborns in the NICU.
One mother of an infant at this hospital has shared her story to Facebook, and the post has gone viral.
Her son Logan was born at just 25 weeks and in need of around-the-clock care. One morning, she walked into the NICU and saw a stranger holding her baby, and it was not someone she would have expected.
The stranger was an old man in a rocking chair gently rocking her infant son. The man smiled and introduced himself as the ICU Grandpa. She was so touched by his kindness that she had to take a picture, holding back tears in the process.
If an elderly man doesn’t come to mind when you think of a volunteer infant cuddler, you aren’t alone. Deutchman’s guy friends have often asked him about it, and he brushes off their good-natured teases.
“I tell them, ‘I hold babies. Sometimes I get puked on; I get peed on. It’s great,” says Deutchman. “They just don’t get it, the kind of reward you can get from holding a baby like this.”
Check out the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s video on David Deutchman the ICU Grandpa!
What do you think of the “ICU Grandpa?” Do you know anyone who would like to have his job? Share this story with them!