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The ICU Grandpa

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” – 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

MaryBeth Brulette’s son was born prematurely at just 25 weeks and weighed less than two pounds. She named her tiny son Logan. Every evening, she leaves him in his incubator at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital. She drives two hours home to stay with her young daughter.

The next morning, she gets up, prepares her daughter for the day, then drives another two hours to sit with her son. Even though she knows Logan is in good hands with the doctors and nurses on the pediatric floor, she still worries about him when she’s away.

One morning, MaryBeth came to the hospital and found her son wasn’t in his usual incubator. Instead, she found a hospital volunteer cuddling her baby.

He introduced himself as David Deutchman, explaining that he snuggles the babies when their parents can’t be with them. The hospital staff even nicknamed him “the ICU Grandpa” for his tender touch with the little ones.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a cuddling program where volunteers can sign up to hold and comfort preemie babies. The Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh has a similar cuddling program. Volunteers rock and sing to babies that were born addicted to opiates, a condition called Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Many hospitals have volunteer programs that allow you to make a difference in the lives of these tiny patients. Check with your local hospital to see how you can volunteer.

God, let me be a sweet comfort to those who are sick or hurting. Show me how I can pour love into someone else’s heart this week. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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