Every week for the past 12 years he has come to cuddle and whisper words of encouragement to the tiniest babies in this hospital’s intensive care unit—and for his dedication he is known as the ICU Grandpa.

David Deutchman holds the babies whose parents can’t be with them on that day at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. A photo taken recently by the mother of one of the baby boys was posted on the facility’s Facebook page, and earned the senior mucho public adoration.

It was a typical story. A preemie—born at just 25 weeks—had been in the hospital for six weeks, and because his mother needed to take care of her daughter, she had to go home every night. And each morning, she would drive the two hours back to the ICU feeling anxious because he’s likely been “missing his mommy.”

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But this time she returned to find ICU Grandpa snuggling with her son, and snapped a photo of the legendary hospital volunteer.

The Facebook image collected 9,000 comments—some written by other parents who had also been eternally grateful to the baby whisperer for his devotion to their infants.

“He rocked our baby for countless hours,” commented Kristin Cook Walker. ”What a wonderful gift he has, and what a blessing it is that he shares that love with others.”

Kristen Brown Webber said that knowing someone was there for her baby was a huge relief. “I felt horrible leaving him but I needed to be mommy to my other son too.”

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One reply to the photo came from Susan Lilly, who knows Deutchman exceptionally well: “I’ve known David as a special man for 53 years –he’s my dad! To read the thousands of comments and see the outpouring of affection is very moving to our entire family.”

Even though he gets vomited and peed on, he says it’s the best job he’s ever had.

(WATCH his interview with WXIA-11 News) – Image from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta video

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