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Meet ‘ICU Grandpa,’ Who Holds and NICU Babies When Their Parents Can’t

posted: 10/04/17
by: Amanda Mushro

For parents that have babies in the NICU, their days are filled with caring for their child and trying to balance the rest of their lives outside of the hospital. When babies have long stays in the hospital, often mom and dad have to leave the hospital--and those times away from their babies can be agonizing. For parents with babies staying at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital, "ICU Grandpa" is officially on duty to snuggle and cuddle those sweet babies when their parents can't hold them.

A Facebook post about ICU Grandpa, shows him sitting in a chair and cradling a PICU baby. This precious picture has quickly gained over 200,000 likes and over 65,000 shares. The photo is captioned with a few details about ICU Grandpa, David Deutchman. "They call him the ICU Grandpa. On Tuesdays, he visits the PICU to hold babies whose parents can't be with them that day. On Thursdays, he makes rounds in the NICU." According to the hospital, ICU Grandpa has been volunteering for over a twelve years

In the now viral picture, ICU Grandpa is holding baby Logan, who has been in the hospital for over six weeks. One morning, Logan's mom snapped the picture when she arrived at the hospital to find ICU Grandpa holding her baby. "Every night, his mom goes home to be with his big sister. Every morning, she drives back to Scottish Rite feeling "anxious that he's been missing his mommy." On this particular morning, she walked into the PICU to find Logan--a preemie born at just 25 weeks--in the arms of David, who smiled and introduced himself as the ICU Grandpa."

Volunteers, like ICU Grandpa, help to make unimaginable situations a little easier and a little kinder for parents. For those times parents can't be right by their baby's side, at least they know their little ones are being snuggled and loved by amazing people like ICU Grandpa.