For decades, Amanda Scarpinati held on to black-and-white photos of a nurse holding her at 3 months old.
The 1977 photos were taken at the Albany Medical Center in New York after Scarpinati fell from a couch onto a hot-steam humidifier. She suffered severe third-degree burns and her head was wrapped in thick gauze.
In the years that followed, she would undergo several surgeries and be teased by her classmates.
But, like the nurse who did the unthinkable for her patient with terminal cancer, this nurse also provided much more than just medical aid.
“Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented,” Scarpinati told the Associated Press.
“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.”
Scarpinati hoped to one day find the nurse who gave her comfort through such a dire time. After 20 years of searching with no luck, Scarpinati turned to the power of social media. She shared the precious photos on her Facebook page writing, “I would love to know her name and possibly get a chance to talk to her and meet her. Please share as you never know who it could reach.”
Her post went viral and what happened next is truly heartwarming…
In 1977, when Amanda Scarpinati was 3 months old, she was rushed to the Albany Medical Center in New York with third-degree burns. She had accidentally fallen off a couch and landed on a hot-steam humidifier.
There, a young nurse cared for her. Black-and-white photos show her holding little Scarpinati in her arms and happily looking at her.
It was these loving photos that helped Scarpinati the following years as she underwent several surgeries and was teased in school.
“Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented,” Scarpinati told the Associated Press. “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.”
For 20 years, she tried to find this special nurse, but without any luck.
That’s when she decided to turn to social media and shared the photos on her Facebook page along with a plea to find her.
Her post went viral and one day later she received the message she’d always hoped for.
Angela Leary, who worked with the nurse at the hospital that year, identified her as Susan Berger.
Berger was 21 at the time and just out of college. As it turns out, the now Executive Vice President of New York’s Cazenovia College remembered Scarpinati and even held on to the same photos. Berger even spoke of the little girl she once cared for to her family and friends.
“She was very peaceful,” she said. “Usually when babies come out of surgery, they’re sleeping or crying. She was just so calm and trusting. It was amazing.”
Shortly thereafter, the two had an emotional reunion after 38 years.
“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,” Berger said. “I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years.”
And watch the heartwarming moment they reunite below!
While a nurse’s work is sometimes overlooked, Scarpinati’s quest to find Susan Berger proves how important they really are. It also emphasizes the positive affect one person can have on another.
Please SHARE this heartwarming story to show appreciation for the unbelievable work nurses do!