Dubbed The 'ICU Grandpa,' He's Been Comforting Preemies For The Last 12 Years

"A legend of a hospital volunteer."

Approximately half a million babies are born premature, or with birth defects, in the U.S. each year, according to March of Dimes. Many of these babies end up spending weeks, and sometimes months, in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Try as they might, the preemies' friends and families cannot always be at the hospital all of the time, which is why hospital volunteers can be a blessing. They help comfort and soothe little ones when they're away from their family. One "legend of a hospital volunteer" is David Deutchman.



He's such a prominent fixture at the hospital he volunteers at, he's been dubbed the "ICU Grandpa."

The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta posted the story of Deutchman on Facebook and included a photo of him with a baby in his arms.

They explain that he has been volunteering for the last 12 years.

Deutchman  — who has two adult grandkids of his own — visits babies in the PICU on Tuesdays whose parents can't be with them that day. On Thursdays, he visits the NICU. He began volunteering after he retired from a career in international business marketing.

The photo of him was taken by MaryBeth Brulette, the mother of baby Logan, who has been at the hospital for six weeks. She has been dividing her time caring for her daughter at home at night, and visiting Logan in the morning. On a recent morning, she returned to the hospital to find Logan in Deutchman's arms.

When Brulette saw Deutchman holding the baby, she said, "All my anxiety and everything was gone, and I was just filled with joy."

The hospital shared the photo online and stated it was just one of many of the heart-warming moments from Deutchman's time as a volunteer.

The "ICU Grandpa" himself explained to 11ALIVE about the impact of volunteering. He stated, "Some of my guy friends, they ask me what I do here. And I say, 'well, I hold babies. I get puked on, I get peed on,' and they say why would you do that?! Some people just don't understand the kind of reward you would get from holding a baby like this."

Deutchman added, "Every day I drive in here I don't know what kids I'm going to meet, what parents I'm going to meet, what the issues will be and how I can help. It's been wonderful for me."

After the positive response, Deutchman's story received, the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta posted a video highlighting some of the things that he does.

His daughter, Susan Lilly, also wrote on the Facebook post, "I've known David as a special man for 53 years — he's my dad! To read the thousands of comments and see the outpouring of affection is very moving to our entire family. Thank you for recognizing my dad. He truly loves what he does."

(H/T: Popsugar)

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