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    Posted on Oct 2, 2017

    ICU Grandpa Is Something To Hold On To In These Cruel Times

    "Look for the helpers." —Fred Rogers

    This is David Deutchman. He's an 82-year-old retired marketing executive living in Atlanta, but he doesn't spend his free time golfing. Instead, he volunteers for a local neonatal intensive care unit providing the tiny patients with warmth and comfort.

    Over time, Deutchman has become known as the ICU Grandpa at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital (and now on the internet). The retiree has volunteered two days a week for the past 12 years comforting parents and infants alike.

    Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

    That’s preemie Logan in Deutchman’s arms, born at just 25 weeks. Logan’s mother — who goes home every evening to be with his older sister — recently returned from an anxiety-filled night of sleep worrying Logan was lonely only to find her son quite content with Deutchman. According to the hospital, she snapped this photo as she cried happy tears.

    Deutchman watched his story go viral after the hospital shared it on its Facebook page. Over 60,000 people have shared the post, which has racked up 141,000 likes.

    facebook.com

    Deutchman told People magazine:

    It is very gratifying, not just because the babies are crying and you help them to stop crying. There are a lot of benefits to that warm connection of being held — when a baby puts their face against your heartbeat, there’s a benefit there. I came to love it, but not just because of the connection with the babies, but the whole atmosphere of the hospital.

    Following the viral popularity of Deutchman's story, the hospital made a video so people could learn a bit more about him. Prepare to have your heart melted.

    Facebook: video.php

    Speaking to People, Deutchman elaborated:

    I talk with mothers and sometimes I hold their hand, because holding a mom’s hand is just as important as holding a baby. There’s a lot of stress for these parents. Having somebody tell them they can go get breakfast and assure them I’ll be there with their baby, it means something to them. It’s important.

    And when his friends ask him why he does what he does, the answer is simple:

    Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

    Thanks for being you, David.

    BuzzFeed has reached out to Deutchman for comment.

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