When baby Zayne Caldwell arrived eight weeks early, his parents Renata Freydin, 34, and David Caldwell, 33, were anxious about what lay ahead.
But their worries were soothed when they discovered Zayne was being cared for by NICU nurse Lissa McGowan, who had cared for the baby’s dad, David, 34 years before.
David had also been born premature at the same hospital, and fondly remembered his mum’s stories of ‘wonderful nurse Lissa’.
The parents only realised the same nurse was looking after their son when they dug an old family album out of storage, to see which parent the newborn resembled.
They couldn’t believe it when they saw a photo of Lissa cradling David – and took a matching photo with Zayne.
Their baby is now happy and healthy and at home – and this week Lissa retired from Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, after 39 years service.
Proud Renata, a nail technician from Edison, New Jersey, said: ‘The time was filled with worries and uncertainty, but we could breathe easy knowing his nurse is the same one that helped David.
‘She was amazing and to have her care for Zayne was amazing.
‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out.
‘There was a photo of Lissa holding David.
‘I was like “wait a minute”. I had only met her two days earlier. I got chills.
‘I knew it was her right away and I ran to show David and didn’t even have to say anything – he saw it was her straight away too.
‘His mother had loved her to much, she wanted to take a picture of the two of them before she left.’
When the parents took the photo in to show Lissa, she was overjoyed.
They think the coincidence was a sign David’s late mum Ida was watching over them.
Renata added: ‘Lissa was so kind and not just to baby, but to us as well.
‘No question was too much – and she often answered them before we had even asked.
‘It was very emotional. David was thinking it was a sign his mum was saying “everything will be ok” – and it was.’