"It's been a very nice surprise," NICU nurse Lissa McGowan said of being reunited with the family.

By Claudia Harmata
Updated May 14, 2020
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Courtesy of Renata Freydin

Zayne Caldwell’s premature birth became a serendipitous moment for his family and a New Jersey nurse who had cared for his father more than 30 years prior.

Renata Freydin and her fiancé, David Caldwell, welcomed their newborn on Jan. 30 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, 10 weeks before his expected due date, CNN reported.

Their son had to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Peter’s University Hospital — the same hospital where David was also born prematurely more than three decades ago.

“So as many of you may know, our son was born 10 weeks early at St. Peters hospital and has been in the NICU ever since (he’s doing amazing btw!). What some of you may not know is that his father (my amazing fiance) was also born about 6 weeks early at the same hospital!” Freydin shared in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Zayne Caldwell and Lissa McGowan
Courtesy of Renata Freydin

Days after she gave birth, Freydin and her fiancé returned home and were looking through old photos when they discovered one of David that had been taken in the hospital shortly after he was born.

“Last Sunday, he dug out his baby book to show me. As I was looking through, I came across a picture of him as a baby and a lady holding him. I knew that lady!!” Freydin wrote. “I immediately asked him who she was and he confirmed that she was the nurse who took care of him during his stay in the NICU and his mom loved her so much that she needed a photo of the two of them on the day he was discharged!”

Freydin recognized the woman in the photo as Lissa McGowan, the same NICU nurse that was currently taking care of little Zayne.

David Caldwell and Lissa McGowan
Courtesy of Renata Freydin

“Well, the reason I know her is because I swore she was the nurse that had been taking care of our baby boy for the past three days!” she added. “David didn’t believe me. We brought the picture to the hospital where 3 other nurses confirmed it was her!”

The couple returned to the hospital on Valentine’s Day, where McGowan was taking care of their “little nugget,” and recreated the photo originally taken in 1986 with their newborn son.

“We have so many babies who cross our paths, and we have had many who say they had a relative here, but it’s never hit so close to home where it is father and son, not for me,” McGowan told My Central Jersey. “It’s been a very nice surprise.”

Along with her post, Freydin shared the special photos, saying how grateful she was to have McGowan looking after her baby boy.

“The past 2 weeks have been filled with worries and uncertainty but we can breathe easy knowing my lil nuggets nurse is the same one that helped the man I love when he was in the same situation,” the proud mom wrote.

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