I received an email that started out like this:
“My name is Lynne Hochmuth. I was born and raised in the Town of Tonawanda. I have a story that I’m hoping you will share on Totally Buffalo.”
Lynne went on to tell an amazing story of dedication, care, compassion and family. We then went back and forth – getting into the remarkable details of this lovely story that I am incredibly happy to share with you.
In 1992 Lynne gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Baby Elizabeth came 11 weeks early weighing just 2 pounds, 6 ounces. She had quite a long stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Buffalo Children’s Hospital (it was still on Bryant Street then). It was a rough time, but they made it through – thanks to that tough little baby and an incredible hospital staff.
“She received amazing care from the great nurses and doctors there,” Lynne told me, “One of her caregivers was a soft spoken, gentle nurse named Michelle.”
Michelle cared for baby Elizabeth until she went home two months later.
It was now a memory. Elizabeth went on to flourish and has lived a wonderful and healthy life!
In fact, in December of 2018 – Elizabeth gave birth to beautiful twins, Emberlynn and Theo.
They were born 7 weeks early. Emberlynn did well and was home a couple weeks after she was born.
Theo has had his fair share of struggles – hydrocephalus, pneumonia, pneumothorax.
He is in the NICU at the new Oishei Children’s Hospital receiving amazing care.
Amazing care indeed.
“One day while we were visiting Theo I had this overwhelming feeling that the nurse that was caring for him with such a gentle touch seemed so familiar,” recalls Lynne, “I knew I had heard her voice before.”
So, when Lynne got home, she pulled out Elizabeth’s photo albums and found a picture of a nurse standing at her bedside. You can guess what she saw.
“I knew immediately it was the same Michelle that was caring for Theo.”
All these years later. All those babies later.
“I took the picture with me the next day and asked Michelle if she knew who the nurse was in the picture. She replied, “That’s me!” How amazing is it that a nurse that cared for a tiny baby girl 26 years ago, is now caring for that baby girl’s infant son?”
You can only imagine how many sick babies Nurse Michelle has cared for. You can only imagine – all these years later. A quarter of a century later – still as compassionate as ever. Still as gentle, as wonderful – still as amazing.
“Having the same nurse was comforting. Just knowing Michelle was obviously an experienced nurse, but also the connection that she had been my daughter’s nurse was indescribable.”
For Lynne, it’s truly full circle. She couldn’t be more grateful.
“When we found out she was the same nurse, Elizabeth felt like it was a blessing and she was honored to have Michelle caring for Theo. It was like an instant connection. I think we were all in awe and other nurses were in the background just amazed at what was happening! Michelle hugged us and we all just felt at ease.”
And perhaps the best news of all.
“Theo is doing great. He has been off the ventilator a few weeks and is almost off oxygen. He has some struggles ahead developmentally, but he is getting excellent care right now.”
Baby Theo – just as tough as his mama. Just as lucky, too – to have a nurse as special as Michelle.
For Lynne – who is so happy to share her story – there’s one thing she’d most like to share – her appreciation.
“Thank you to Michelle and all the NICU nurses and doctors at Oishei Children’s Hospital.”
It’s quite amazing if you think about it. One nurse – all these years later – caring for the same family with that same gentle touch.
God Bless Nurse Michelle and of course, baby Theo and the entire family!