Nurse Realizes Her Colleague Is The Preemie Baby She Cared For 28 Years Ago

"His mother asked him to look for nurse Vilma in the NICU, but he told his mom that I had probably retired by now."

Brandon Seminatore was born at 29 weeks on April 19, 1990 weighing just 2 pounds 6 ounces. He stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. He required an incubator to keep warm and was hooked up to a ventilator to help him breathe. During his stay, his primary care nurse was Vilma Wong.

Growing up, Seminatore had heard from his parents about his stay in the NICU and the nurse that cared for him. He had seen photos of himself in the hospital, but he never expected he would meet Wong.

Things came full circle when the now 28-year-old was working as a second-year pediatric resident at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.


A few weeks ago, Seminatore happened to be put on the same team as Wong, and she recognized his name.

"I asked who he was and his name and the last name sounded very familiar. 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," recalls Wong in a statement from the hospital. "I then got very suspicious because I remember being the primary nurse to a baby with the same last name." 

"To confirm, I asked him if his dad was a police officer and there was a big silence and then he asked me if I was Vilma. I said yes."

The hospital shared the heartwarming reunion story on its Facebook page along with the photos of Wong and Seminatore from almost three decades ago and from today.

Wong revealed that Seminatore's mom did suggest her son look for her at the hospital. "His mother asked him to look for nurse Vilma in the NICU, but he told his mom that I had probably retired by now."

In fact, Wong's first nursing job was at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and she has worked there ever since. She has been a Registered Nurse in the NICU for 32 years.

"I was in shock initially but overjoyed to know that I took care of him almost 30 years ago, and now he's a pediatric resident to the same population he was part of when he was born," said Wong.

After the reunion, Seminatore's parents texted him the photo of him and Wong 28 years ago.

"Meeting Vilma was a surreal experience. I never expected to meet a provider who took care of me when I was a baby. When Vilma recognized my name, I remembered the photos my parents had shown me and I truly sunk in that I was one of these babies."

"I’ve come full-circle and I’m taking care of babies with the nurse that took care of me."

"Meeting Vilma showed me the dedication and love she has for her career," he stated. "She cares deeply for her patients, to the point that she was able to remember a patient's name almost three decades later. Not all of us will get the chance to see our patients grow up, and I was so happy to be able to share that moment with her."

Seminatore is completing a Child Neurology Residency at Stanford University. He continued, "As a doctor, I reflected on the importance of the work I do. We all try to give our patients the best chance to grow up happy and healthy. This story is for families with children who have had a rough start in life. I want to give them hope."



Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.