There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” While you may or may not agree with William Ross Wallace’s poem, you can’t deny that the fact that the formative years of a child’s life are critical.
This next story will show you how a special nurse-child bond, formed 40 years ago, changed a woman’s life for the better.
For decades, Amanda Scarpinati has turned to the black-and-white photos of a nurse holding her as a baby to look for support. Through all the bullying and teasing, the photo of a young nurse caressing her has given Scarpinati strength to continue fighting.
The young woman was badly burned as an infant and was treated at the Albany Medical Center in New York. In the years that followed, she would undergo several surgeries and be badgered by classmates for her scars.
“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.”
Amanda Scarpinati always wanted to meet the nurse who took care of her as a burned infant. However, her efforts were without luck. Not knowing what else to do, the woman took to Facebook in hopes that she will be able to find the caretaker through the power of social media.
Her story went viral
It’s well known that social media can turn a story viral. That’s what Amanda Scarpinati hoped when she shared the precious black-and-white photos on her Facebook page.
“These are pictures of me as a baby while I was being treated at Albany Medical Center for 3rd-degree burns in Albany, NY,” she wrote as she explained how hard she tried to find out who the nurse that is holding her is, but without luck.
She asked her friend to share the images, and maybe they will get to the right person, and someone will recognize her.
“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,” she wrote.
What happened next is amazing.
Her post got viral and soon people started commenting on her pictures, helping trace her caretaker. One day later, she received the message that she’d always dreamed for. Angela Leary, a woman who worked at the Albany Medical Center that year, identified the nurse.
Meet Susan Berget
Back in 1977, when Amanda Scarpinati was only three months old, she was rushed to the Albany Medical Center with third-degree burns. She rolled off the couch and accidentally landed onto a stream vaporizer.
The photos Scarpinati hold on to so dearly come from the time she spent recovering from surgery.
After using social media to help her find the loving nurse who cared for her, the woman finally got a name: Susan Berger.
Susan Berger, who is now the Executive Vice President of New York’s Cazenovia College, was only 21 when the photos were taken. She was just out of college and was working at the Albany Medical Center as a caretaker.
But, here’s the truly emotional part. Not only that Berger remembered Scarpinati, but she also held on to the same photos. Berger even told the story of the little girl she once caressed to her family and friends.
Susan Berger remembers that the Amanda was very calm and peaceful. According to her, most babies that come out of surgery are either sleeping or crying. Amanda, on the other hand, was very calm and peaceful. As it turns out, that moment had a powerful impact on Berger, as well.
After 38 Years, Amanda Finally Meets the Nurse that Cared for Her as Burned Infant. Susan Berger was stunned when she found that the baby girl that she cared for nearly 40 years ago was looking for her.
“I was just speechless and to think that someone would have thought about it all those years and to have saved the photo, as I did myself,” she told ABC News.
The two women met for the first time in nearly 40 years on a lovely September afternoon, at the Albany Medical Center. The encounter was emotional. Amanda Scarpinati was happy to meet the woman who gave her power through all the rough moments she’s been to as a child. Susan Berger was happy to see how big and beautiful the girl got.
To see the whole story of their reunion, watch the video below.
EMOTIONAL REUNION: Woman badly burned as a baby is reunited with the nurse who cared for her 38 years ago. http://nbcnews.to/1j1bjpQ
Posted by NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Image: ABC news