Woman burned as baby finds nurse who cared for her 38 years ago
A woman who suffered severe burns as a baby is finally getting the opportunity to embrace the hospital nurse who cared for her. The woman found the nurse after posting photos on social media 38 years later.
Amanda Scarpinati always treasured the photos of her as a baby being comforted by a young nurse. The pictures were published without names in Albany Medical Center's 1977 annual report. Scarpinati said:
"Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented. I'd look at those pictures and talk to her, even though I didn't know who she was. I took comfort looking at this woman who seemed so sincere caring for me."
After Scarpinati's friend urged her to post the photos on Facebook, Scarpinati included a plea to help put a name to the nurse's face. As she doubted her plea would be successful, she was shocked by the overwhelming support and responses. She said:
Former nurse at Albany Medical Center Angela Leary sent Scarpinati a message saying that the nurse in the photo is Susan Berger. She said that Berger moved to the Syracuse area many years ago. Leary wrote:
"She was as sweet and caring as she looks in this picture."
After a local television reporter tracked down Berger, who now oversees the health center at Cazenovia College, Scarpinati was able to talk to Berger on the phone. Scarpinati said:
When Scarpinati was 3 months old, she rolled off a couch and onto a steam vaporizer that was on the floor beside her. The machine scalded her with steam and melted mentholated ointment. Over the years, Scarpinati had to undergo many reconstructive surgeries.
At the time the photo was taken, Berger was only 21 years old and just out of college. She was working in the pediatric recovery room at the medical center. Berger said of baby Scarpinati:
"I remember her. She was very peaceful. Usually when babies come out of surgery they're sleeping or crying. She was just so calm and trusting. It was amazing. I don't know how many nurses would be lucky enough to have something like this happen, to have someone remember you all that time. I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years."
Berger is one of thousands of nurses who provide much needed care and nurture to children all over the world every day. Watch this video to learn about a campaign launched to spread appreciation for nurses like Berger:
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