Woman reunited with the nurse who helped treat her burns as a baby
For years, Amanda Scarpinati has been trying to find the nurse who took care of her as a baby when she was hospitalized for burns. Yesterday, that finally happened. After almost 38 years, Scarpinati was reunited with nurse Susan Berger in Albany, N.Y.
"I hugged her and I said 'Oh my God, you are real,'" Scarpinati tells As it Happens host Carol Off. "I was very much overwhelmed with emotion."
The two women first met at Albany Medical Centre in 1977, where Berger was working as a nurse. Scarpinati had been admitted for third-degree burns on her head and hand, after falling on a hot steam humidifier. She was three-months-old.
Sometime during that hospital visit, photographs were taken of Scarpinati and Berger. The hospital published the images in their annual report in 1977.
"It gives me chills every time I look at it," Scarpinati says.
Scarpinati says the photographs helped her deal with the scars left by the accident.
"As a child, things were very difficult for me. The children weren't always the nicest ... I would be called a witch because of my scars from the burns," she says.
"I would look at that picture and I would always think, 'Here is someone who cared for me with love and compassion.' It didn't matter what kind of scars or burns I had. It was just genuine. It was comforting."
Scarpinati tried to find Berger 20 years ago, but was unsuccessful. This time, she posted the photos on social media and had more luck.
"I didn't have a name. I just had her beautiful face," she says. "Lo and behold, one of her former co-workers saw the post and recognized her right away."
A local news station contacted Berger and the two women were able to meet for the first time yesterday.
"It was a dream come true. Honestly, it was something I never thought would happen."