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Posted: September 29, 2017

‘ICU Grandpa’ has held babies at Atlanta children’s hospital for 12 years

MaryBeth  snapped a photo of David Deutchman, affectionately known as “ICU Grandpa,
MaryBeth Brulotte
MaryBeth snapped a photo of David Deutchman, affectionately known as “ICU Grandpa," with her son, Logan.

By Becca J. G. Godwin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA —

A man affectionately known as “ICU Grandpa” became internet famous this week after Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta posted a picture of him on its Facebook page Wednesday evening. 

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“This photo was taken by baby Logan’s mom as she fought back happy tears,” the post said. “Logan has been in our hospital for six weeks. Every night, his mom goes home to be with his big sister. Every morning, she drives back to Scottish Rite feeling ‘anxious that he’s been missing his mommy.’”

WSB spoke with Logan’s mother, MaryBeth Brulotte, who CHOA said held back happy tears ash she took the photo.

“He had such a kind spirit,” Brulotte said. 

David Deutchman visits the hospital’s pediatric and neonatal intensive care units to hold babies whose parents can’t be with them that day, and has done so for 12 years, according to CHOA. 

“On Tuesdays, he visits the PICU to hold babies whose parents can’t be with them that day. On Thursdays, he makes rounds in the NICU,” the post said.

The Facebook post had been liked more than 153,000 times and shared more than 44,000 times by Friday afternoon.

Multiple news outlets wrote about Deutchman, and on Friday, CHOA posted a video of Deutchman’s visits. The grandpa can be heard softly singing “You are My Sunshine” to a baby.

“Sometimes I get puked on, I get peed on. It’s great,” he says in the video. 

Deutchman says his male friends ask why he makes the visits.

“They just don’t get it, the kind of reward you can get from holding a baby like this,” he said.

The hospital said Deutchman began volunteering after he retired from working in international business marketing. He has two daughters and two grandchildren, ages 19 and 21.

"It touched my heart,” Brulotte said of Deutchman’s visit with her son. “I’m so glad that he's getting the recognition he deserves.”


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