82-Year-Old Spends His Free Time Visiting NICUs Cradling Premies; Helps Them Heal Faster

Updated October 4, 2017

When my daughter was born, she needed to spend some time in the NICU. Her blood sugar was dangerously low and the doctors wanted to monitor her for a few hours. It was a scary experience. We had just gone through a tough birth and now we were separated from our newborn. To know that people like David Deutchman are around to help give babies a little extra care, goes a long way in calming the fears of parents. He is an 82-year-old retiree who has spent the last 12 years of his life volunteering at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital. And what does this retired professional do? He simply cradles the premature babies and offers comfort for their families. It is a service that cannot have a price tag put on it.

Deutchman visits the babies twice every week. He starts with the PICU on Tuesdays to hold the premature babies whose parents can’t be there at the time. And on Thursdays he does the same thing at the NICU. Parents are so grateful to Deutchman’s commitment to the newborn babies of Atlanta.

“It’s been wonderful… it gives me something to do that has meaning to it,” the so-called fairy godfather said.

The support he offers the babies and their families has done a lot of good throughout the 12 years he has volunteered at the Atlanta hospital.

The “Fairy Godfather” has done so much good, the hospital has decided to recognize him by writing a Facebook post about the good work he has been up to.

In that post, Deutchman is seen holding a newborn baby boy named Logan who was born at just 25 weeks. Deutchman is seen holding the baby and smiling at the preemie. He is giving the infant his love and attention. Logan has been confined to the hospital for six weeks already. And while Logan’s mother comes back to see him every day along with his sister. But when she went in one morning, Logan’s mom met the kind “ICU Grandpa.”

Because she knew that Logan was not alone, his mother couldn’t hold back the tears. And she managed to capture the heartwarming moment when she met Deutchman and shared it on Facebook. And it has gotten more than 200,000 likes since then.

While Deutchman has become a legend in Atlanta, he was never doing it for the fame he has accrued. He simply wanted to do something that “has meaning to it.”

He told 11 Alive, “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.”

Premature babies benefit enormously from human contact.

“Any human presence definitely helps just feeling that comfort, that warmth,” Elizabeth Mittiga, a NICU nurse at the hospital told Cosmopolitan. “It definitely helps them to, I think, grow faster and put more weight on, and feeding-wise, can help them digest their feeds better and things like that.”

What do you think about this man’s good work?