Many of us look forward to our retirement years. Exotic Caribbean cruises, lush summer homes, and lounging by the sea come to mind. Things, on the other hand, would change dramatically for David Deutchman.
Indeed, after retiring from his international sales career in 2005, “The Baby Whisperer” and “ICU Grandpa” chose something a little different: cuddling premature babies at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta.
He continued in this manner for the following 15 years of his life.
Deutchman realised he needed to do something with his time after he retired.
He was in the hospital for rehabilitation when he decided to stop by the children’s hospital to check if there were any volunteer possibilities.
He began working with long-term patients, but after meeting the moms of two patients, he realised he wanted to work with the hospital’s youngest children.
It was then that he learned about Scottish Rite Hospital’s “baby buddy” programme.
Volunteers are invited to visit the PICU and NICU wards and comfort little babies who were born prematurely or have other particular medical needs as part of this unique programme.
“They gave me a small infant to hold when I initially started working at the hospital,” David Deutchman recounted. “And the person from child life came over and asked, ‘Hey, you handle babies?’ I have a position for you.’ And I just adored it.”
With many parents working to make ends meet, there is a definite need for assistance in calming and hugging babies in such hospitals. Thankfully, angels like Deutchman exist to fill this critical gap.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Deutchman spent time in the PICU and the NICU, holding little babies in his arms and reassuring them when their parents couldn’t.
“I was cradling small infants before you knew it,” David told People. “And [the years] have gone by in a flash.”