ATLANTA, Ga. - Having a newborn in a neonatal intensive care unit is hard on parents. Fortunately for the babies at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite's neonatal ICU, there’s 82-year-old David Deutschman.
He holds the babies whose parents can’t be there that day. The retired marketing executive has been spending his time there for the past 12 years, and is known as the “ICU Grandpa.”
Deutschman told FOX 5 Atlanta, "I know it brings comfort to the baby because you can see the way she's reacting, that she loves being in someone's arms. And, of course, the younger they are, the more they need that sense of touch, and the security of being snuggled."
Parents Phillip and Tiffany Guthrie know the pain of not being with their baby, Paxton, at all times.
"Honestly, I can't even describe and put into words, (what it's like) to leave our son every single day. It's been six months," said Tiffany Guthrie.
But until Paxton, and all the other babies, are ready to go home, “ICU Grandpa” will be there.
"He has a good heart. And babies feel that I believe. I know that Paxton, he feels different people's spirits," added Paxton's dad, Phillip Guthrie.
Some of Deutschman’s friends don’t understand how he spends so much of his free time hanging around the ICU, but he wouldn’t trade it for the world.
"My guy friends can't believe that I do this. They say, why do you do that? And I tell them, 'It's great because sometimes I get puked on, I get peed on! It's, I mean, why wouldn't I love it," joked Deutschman.
Watch the video to see the snuggles.