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Nurse of the Week Lissa McGowan has treated countless premature infants during her time at New Jersey’s The Children’s Hospital NICU at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, but this is the first time she has treated both a father and his son.

New parents Renata Freydin and her fiancée David Caldwell were understandably anxious when their baby Zayne Caldwell entered the world 10 weeks early on January 30.

Owing to his early entrance, little Zayne was admitted for treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, while his parents waited for his condition to stabilize. “It’s the hardest thing I ever had to do: to leave here without him,” Freydin said. In their time with Zayne in the NICU, Freydin and Caldwell took plenty of photographs of their baby to keep them company while they awaited his arrival home.

A few days later, while perusing their photos, the new parents fell into a discussion concerning Zayne’s family resemblance: did his looks favor his mom, or did he look more like his dad? “Me and her [Freydin] kept going back and forth: ‘He looks like me. No, he looks like me.’ So, I was just like, ‘I’m gonna go get my baby book and settle this,’” Caldwell said.

But as they examined the photos, the matter of who Zayne looked like was soon replaced by curiosity about a different similarity: the nurse holding Zayne in one of the pictures bore a striking resemblance to the nurse holding David Caldwell (who was also born prematurely) in one of his baby photos! “I saw the picture and I knew right away it was nurse Lissa,” Freydin said. “He didn’t believe me and said ‘no way, it’s not possible.'” However, it was indeed possible; they soon discovered that the nurse pictured with both babies—despite the 34-year passage of time—was Lissa McGowan.

McGowan, who has worked at The Children’s Hospital for 38 years, remarked upon the unusual coincidence to My Central Jersey, “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.”

For more details on this multigenerational event, visit here.

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