You may remember David Deutchman, the volunteer who was affectionately dubbed ‘ⓃⒾⒸⓊ Gʀᴀɴᴅᴘᴀ’ at Sᴄᴏᴛᴛɪsʜ Rɪᴛᴇ’s ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ ɪɴᴛᴇɴsɪᴠᴇ ᴄᴀʀᴇ ᴜɴɪᴛ. Who spent the last 14 years ᴄᴜᴅᴅʟɪɴɢ sɪᴄᴋ ʙᴀʙɪᴇs in the ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ ɪɴᴛᴇɴsɪᴠᴇ ᴄᴀʀᴇ ᴜɴɪᴛs at a ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ, has ᴅɪᴇᴅ ᴏF ᴘᴀɴᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ. The ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ ᴄᴏɴFɪʀᴍᴇᴅ Deutchman’s ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ and praised the Atlanta man for the many years of comfort he provided its ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇsᴛ ᴏᴄᴄᴜᴘᴀɴᴛs. David Deutchman ᴅɪᴇᴅ ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴛᴡᴏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʜᴀʟF ᴡᴇᴇᴋs after he was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ.
His volunteering captured the hearts of thousands when his story went ᴠɪʀᴀʟ in 2017. The 86-year-old began volunteering at Cʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ’s Hᴇᴀʟᴛʜᴄᴀʀᴇ ᴏF Aᴛʟᴀɴᴛᴀ after he retired from a career in marketing. Hᴇ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴠɪsɪᴛ ʙᴀʙɪᴇs ᴡʜᴏsᴇ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ be with them and became so popular that parents would ask for him and he soon earned the nickname ‘ⒾⒸⓊ Gʀᴀɴᴅᴘᴀ.’ In 2017 Deutchman said: “There are a lot of benefits to that warm connection of being held when ᴀ ʙᴀʙʏ ᴘᴜᴛs ᴛʜᴇɪʀ Fᴀᴄᴇ ᴀɢᴀɪɴsᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ, there’s a benefit there. I came to love it, but not just because of the connection with the babies, but the ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ᴀᴛᴍᴏsᴘʜᴇʀᴇ of the ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ.” He added that his efforts for comfort and connection spread to the babies’ mothers, too, as they often needed a hand to hold.
He said: “There’s a lot of sᴛʀᴇss for these parents. Having somebody tell them they can go get breakfast and assure them I’ll be there with their baby, it means something to them. It’s important.” Daughter Susan Lily said: “He had a very successful business career, and I’ve never heard him talk with such appreciation and love for what he was doing any time during his 41 years with the company, like he talked about his involvement with the people at the ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ. None of us expected to get such a ᴅɪʀᴇ ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs. He made it very clear to all his loved ones and even his friends that he feels grateful to have ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ Fᴜʟʟ ᴀɴᴅ ʀɪᴄʜ ʟɪFᴇ.”
To ᴄᴇʟᴇʙʀᴀᴛᴇ ʜɪs ʟᴇɢᴀᴄʏ, Cʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ’s Hᴇᴀʟᴛʜᴄᴀʀᴇ arranged a drive-by parade outside Deutchman’s home shortly before his death, ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟᴇᴛᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ⓃⒾⒸⓊ ᴛʀᴀɴsᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʀᴜᴄᴋ and ʜᴇʟɪᴄᴏᴘᴛᴇʀ. Slade said: “I did the parade because David gave so much of his ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ to all of us here at Cʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ’s Hᴇᴀʟᴛʜᴄᴀʀᴇ ᴏF Aᴛʟᴀɴᴛᴀ that it was super important to me to show David and his family just how much of our ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ’s he’s a part of. Maybe all those babies that we ʟᴏsᴇ every year will have someone special to greet them with open arms and treat them like they’re his own”.