Burned Baby, Nurse Reunite After 38 Years

'I never thought this day would come'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2015 5:55 PM CDT
Burned Baby, Nurse Reunite After 38 Years
A 1977 photo shows nurse Susan Berger with infant Amanda Scarpinati.   (Carl Howard/Albany Medical Center via AP)

In 1977, 3-month-old Amanda Scarpinati was horribly burned when she rolled onto a boiling water vaporizer, the AP reports. But that incident left her with more than scars and years of reconstructive surgeries. Over the next four decades, Scarpinati would get strength by turning to a set of black-and-white photographs showing an anonymous nurse cradling her gauze-wrapped body. "Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented," she tells the AP. "I'd look at those pictures and talk to her, even though I didn't know who she was. I took comfort looking at this woman who seemed so sincere, caring for me." Scarpinati always wanted to thank the nurse but could never identify her.

A friend changed that this month when she pushed Scarpinati to post the photos to Facebook. It quickly worked, reports Yahoo News. The photos went viral, and within a day a fellow nurse contacted Scarpinati to give her a name: Susan Berger. The two met for the second time in 38 years Tuesday. "I'm over the moon to meet Sue," Scarpinati tells the AP. "I never thought this day would come." It's a sentiment echoed by Berger. "I don't know how many nurses would be lucky enough to have something like this happen, to have someone remember you all that time," Berger says. "I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years." (More uplifting news stories.)

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