Starting in the 1960s, hospitals around the country started a special unit to care for premature or sick newborn babies. Known as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU, it’s staffed by dedicated doctors and nurses. Thanks to advanced medicine, many of these babies eventually go home where they thrive. But sometimes, the outcome isn’t what anyone wants.
Especially for NICU nurses who work long hours caring for tiny infants, the stress can become too much. After all, they’re humans and for many, mothers. But with incredible dedication and love for what they do, they push through day after day. For one man, the nurse taking care of his granddaughter was extra special.
Barry Lovell started crying the minute he saw the NICU nurse caring for his grandchild.
He immediately said to her, “It’s you.” The nurse herself, Jamie Huynh, thought that Barry’s name looked familiar. Surely, he couldn’t be who she thought he was. But once the two locked eyes, they knew.
Their chance meeting at the hospital was 22 years in the making.
More than two decades earlier, Barry had become a widow. While he was busy trying to raise two kids alone, Jamie wanted to go to college to become a nurse. But not just any nurse. She wanted to take care of babies in a hospital NICU.
Barry’s wife also wanted to become a nurse.
Liz passed away from leukemia. She too wanted to pursue a career in nursing but her illness cut that dream short. To continue her legacy, the family decided to give someone a scholarship. Amazingly, it was none other than Jamie Huynh.
Jamie vividly remembers the day she was given the scholarship.
She was attending a ceremony when in walked a man. Jamie stated, “He walked into the room carrying a baby and holding the hand of a little boy.” What made the event so special is that not only was this a one-time scholarship but she was the sole recipient. That boy grew up to be Tyler. He was also the father of Juliet, the sick granddaughter under Jamie’s care in the NICU at Providence Regional Medical Center.
The two shared an emotional reunion.
Once they confirmed the connection, things became emotional. With tears streaming down Jamie’s face, she said, “The stars truly aligned. I’ve always been on a quest to honor Liz, so being able to take care of her granddaughter and her son at a scary point, it made my heart feel so full. I promised Liz’s mom I would carry a light of her inside me.”
Baby Juliet made a complete recovery.
Thankfully, little Juliet recovered fully and today’s she’s doing great. For all those years, Jamie had no idea why she was the one chosen to receive the scholarship. But after Barry walked into the NICU, she had her answer. Everything had finally come full circle.
For the Lovell family and Jamie, they know they were put in each other’s lives for a reason. Along with Juliet, she gives 100 percent to all the babies at the hospital. Instead of letting 22 more years pass, there’s a good chance these two will stay in touch. Liz is probably smiling down from above, watching one incredibly compassionate nurse doing what she had always wanted to do herself.
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