Meet CHOA's 'ICU Grandpa' who spends time comforting babies
ATLANTA - Every Tuesday and Thursday, a kindhearted man, known as "ICU Grandpa," spends time visiting patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
App users: View full article here
On Tuesdays, David Deutchman, who calls himself ICU Grandpa, visits the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to hold babies whose parents can't be with them that day, according to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). On Thursdays, he spends time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with ill or premature infants.
CHOA told FOX 5 Deutchman began volunteering after he retired from the business world working in international business marketing. He's been volunteering in CHOA's intensive care units for more than 12 years.
Last week, CHOA shared a touching photo on Facebook of Deutchman holding a baby boy, Logan, who's been in the hospital for more than six weeks. The preemie was born at just 25 weeks.
"Every night, his mom goes home to be with his big sister," CHOA said. "Every morning, she drives back to Scottish Rite feeling 'anxious that he's been missing his mommy.'"
The mother fought back tears as she walked into the PICU to find her son in Deutchman's arms. CHOA said he smiled and introduced himself as ICU Grandpa.
"This photo captures just one precious moment with a legend of a hospital volunteer who's been holding patients, and their parents' hands, for 12 years."
The image CHOA shared has been shared more than 66,000 times with more than 246,000 likes.
"I've known David as a special man for 53 years -- he's my dad," Susan Lilly commented on the post. "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."
Deutchman has two grown daughters in their 50s and two grandchildren who are 19- and 21-years-old.