How a New Jersey Father Discovered His Son’s NICU Nurse Was Also His Own

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By Emily Drooby

An amazing coincidence has taken place in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at New Jersey’s Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

It started when Renata Freydin and David Caldwell’s son, Zayne, was born 10 weeks early.

On January 30, the premature baby was admitted to the NICU of the Catholic hospital in New Brunswick.

It’s the same place where David himself had been treated 33 years before – he was also born a preemie.

Feeling nostalgic after Zayne’s birth, the family looked at David’s old baby book and that’s when they had a revelation.

“I’m literally screaming, ‘Who is this?’ and he was like, ‘Oh that’s me and the nurse.’ And I said, ‘Who does this look like?’ And he said, “It can’t be her, it can’t be her,’” said Freydin.

She saw a photo of her husband being held by a nurse.

“When I was growing up I would always ask my mom, ‘Who is this lady in the baby book, holding me?’ My mom was like , ‘Oh, that was your nurse. She was amazing. She helped me. She reassured me that you were going to be okay when I couldn’t see you. She took great care of you the last day before you came home,’” said Caldwell.

That nurse was Lissa McGowan – the same woman who had been taking incredible care of the couple’s newborn Zayne.

“I could have been on the whole other side of the unit and never even saw them, let alone take care of them,” said McGowan.

Caldwell says it was more than a coincidence, calling it divine intervention from God and his mother whom he lost in 2004.

“That happening just reassured me that mom is watching over us, over her grandson from heaven, watching over her son, they said it’s fate,” he continued.

It’s often difficult for parents of preemies, as they have to leave their most precious gift in the hands of the hospital.

“Not having him with me is one of the hardest things,” said Freydin.

Knowing Lisaa is there has become a source of comfort for David and Renata.

“I was there then, and I’m here now. And hopefully giving them that comfort that I’m here and that they have a strong little guy, we will get him home as soon as he is ready,” said McGowan.

They say a nurse takes care of both the patient and their families, and for this family, that was especially true.