NY woman tracks down nurse who cared for her in infancy

In this 1977 photo provided by Albany Medical Center, nurse Susan Berger cuddles infant Amanda Scarpinati in the pediatric unit at Albany Medical Center in Albany N.Y. Scarpinati had been severely burned by a steam vaporizer at home. Scarpinati kept the hospital's annual report which included her photo and was comforted by the picture when she was bullied for her burn scars as a child. She recently used social media to learn Berger's identity so she could thank her for her loving care. Albany Medical Center has arranged for the two women to meet on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015.
In this 1977 photo provided by the Albany Medical Center, nurse Susan Berger cuddles infant Amanda Scarpinati in the pediatric unit. Scarpinati had been severely burned by a steam vaporizer. Scarpinati recently used social media to learn Berger's identity so she could thank her for her loving care. Photo via AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – An upstate New York woman is finally going to meet the nurse who soothed her as a severely burned baby 38 years ago, thanks to the power of social media.

Amanda Scarpinati says she has always treasured photos of her infant self in a young nurse’s arms. They were published in Albany Medical Center’s 1977 annual report without names. The black-and-white photos shot by photographer Carl Howard have a beatific, Madonna and child quality.

PHOTOS: Amanda Scarpinati as an infant

Scarpinati tried 20 years ago to find out the nurse’s name, without success. But when she posted the photos on her Facebook page earlier this month seeking help with the search, she had her answer in a day.

Scarpinati will reunite with nurse Sue Berger of Cazenovia Tuesday afternoon at Albany Medical Center.

Here are the posts that Scarpinati made to her Facebook page about the mystery nurse-

September 16-

These are pictures of me as a baby while I was being treated at Albany Medical Center for 3rd degree burns in Albany, NY. I tried almost 20 years ago to find out who the nurse is holding me but had no luck. Maybe now with the powers of social media someone will recognize her. This was from 1977. I would love to know her name and possibly get a chance to talk to her and meet her. Please share as you never know who it could reach.

September 17-

Ladies and gentlemen I think we have a very good lead here. The amazing power of social media. In 24 hrs my original post that I didn’t think would get more than 20 shares has gone viral and has crossed over multiple states. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the instant attention it and I got. I was completely unprepared. It has gone well over 5,000 shares and at this point I don’t even know if I can get an accurate number. Its been shared on multiple social media platforms. Thank you a million times over to every single person who has taken the time to help. Next step is to try to find Susan and have her confirm that it is indeed her. ‪#‎DesperatelySeekingSusan‬

September 18-

I am over the moon right now. I am touched by the outpouring of support and kind words from thousands of people..strangers far and wide. People from across the country reaching out to me to send their well wishes or to share their own stories. I am doing my very best to personally answer each and every one or at the least “like” the comments. In a million years I would have never guessed this would grow to be as big as it is or that I would in fact be able to put a name to the face that I looked at for all these years. I had the amazing pleasure to speak with Sue Berger this evening. Shes just as sweet and caring as I could have imagined her to be. She will in fact be making the trip back to Albany by the end of this month so that we can reunite after all these years. And that may possibly take place at Albany Medical..where it all started. Its like Christmas. She was only about 21 yrs old at the time and started at Albany Medical in August of 77. She was there for only 3 years before moving to Syracuse. For now as much as I love keeping up with all the comments I am taking a night off from social media. On a bit of an overload and I am going to enjoy a concert with my friend. God bless you all.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.


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