Facebook reunions can be awkward and even unpleasant. But they can also be incredibly joy-filled. Facebook reunited burned baby Amanda Scarpinati and nurse Sue Berger 38 years later. ABC News said on September 29, that all Scarpinati had to go on were black-and-white photographs that showed a woman caring for her as a baby. Scarpinati was burned at three months old, when she fell into a steam vaporizer.
She was taken to Albany Medical Center in 1977 for treatment. Poignant pictures of the nurse cradling a child wrapped in bandages were shown on the cover of the 1977 Albany Medical Center annual report. Via a social media campaign, Scarpinati searched out the woman in the picture. It didn’t take long before she found her caregiver. Her name was Sue Berger, and she was still a nurse now in Syracuse, New York.
Berger told ABC News she was stunned and speechless to think that someone would have pondered her acts of kindness and saved the photo. Berger says she clearly remembered Scarpinati as an baby and had always wondered what happened to the badly burned child. Berger says Scarpinati was “an unusual baby in terms of being so calm and not crying. She must have been in pain and she was so trusting and just a beautiful baby.”
The two women met for the first time nearly 40 years later, at the Albany Medical Center. It was a hug nearly four decades in the remaking. They had already reconnected on the telephone. Berger says she was glad to hear her patient’s voice and to hear her express her perspective. Scarpinati says the image of Berger holding her gave her solace growing with pain and injury. She says she was disfigured by burns and bullied for them. Scarpinati touchingly recalls looking at their pictures and talking to the woman holding her. Though she didn’t know who it was, Scarpinati says Berger looked sincere and loving. Scarpinati wrote on Facebook that celebrity Tyra Banks wants to feature her story. Good news travels fast, it seems.