David Deutchman is known as the “ICU Grandpa.” He has been an official volunteer at the NICU unit of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for 12 years.
In a Facebook post that went viral, with over 200,000 reactions and 66,000 shares, David Deutchman is seen holding baby Logan.
They call him the ICU Grandpa. On Tuesdays, he visits the PICU to hold babies whose parents can’t be with them that day….
Logan had been in the hospital as a preemie for 6 weeks and his mother arrived the morning the picture was taken to visit him. She found David holding her precious newborn. “Who are you?” she asked. “I’m the ICU grandpa,” Deutchman replied.
It turns out that David visits the newborn unit every Thursday and gives the preemies much needed human contact when their parents can’t be there.
David’s friends don’t really get why he volunteers with newborns. He says, “I tell them, ‘I hold babies. Sometimes I get puked on, I get peed on. It’s great,'” he says in a video put together by Children’s Healthcare. “They just don’t get it, the kind of reward you can get from holding a baby like this.”
Physical, human contact is now known to be crucial to the healthy progression of preemies in their first weeks of life. “It definitely helps just feeling that comfort, that warmth,” said NICU nurse Elizabeth Mittiga of the Children’s hospital. “It definitely helps them to, I think, grow faster and put more weight on, and feeding-wise, can help them digest their feeds better and things like that.” While parents do their best to spend as much time as they can with their new babies, they can’t always be there. So volunteers such as David step in to keep the new little ones company.
Hospitals can always use more volunteers like David. As one Facebook commenter said, “What an amazing and faithful servant! Retirement goal for me.”
By now, you've probably heard about our ICU Grandpa. Here's a look at the hospital legend doing what he does best.
Posted by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta on Friday, September 29, 2017