Special reunion at Memorial Hospital

Special reunion at Memorial Hospital

A Bakersfield man was reunited with his caregiver at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital this week.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield man was reunited with his caregiver at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital this week.

But, the reunion was never organized between Leandro Garcia and the doctor.

Garcia's newborn son is currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and while visiting his son he saw the doctor he first met more than ten years ago -- a woman who was able to meet his baby boy.

At just six days old, Garcia held his baby boy in his arms. The newborn, named after his father, is in the NICU suffering from jaundice.

For Garcia, now 29, it's a place he's also familiar with. Garcia was the second premature baby born at the hospital in 1984. He weighed just one pound.

"A doctor caring for a child that's not theirs, it's heartwarming. Hardly anybody would do that," said Leandro Garcia.

But, a certain doctor did.

Dr. Madhu Bhogal, Medical Director of the NICU, cared for Garcia when he was first born, as the NICU was in its final stages of development.

The two were reunited Tuesday after first meeting more than a decade ago.

"When I saw him, my heart was so full of love. I was so proud of him," said Dr. Bhogal.

"She stood by me. When I was a preemie, she stood by me 24/7. She made sure I was ok. She made sure I was eating right. She acted like I was her son," said Garcia.

"At that time it was hard work, but I feel like that's why we do this to see healthy adults, and we just love them," continued Dr. Bhogal.

And, that same love is now being shown to his son, who is expected to be released sometime soon.

"I am blessed that we have these nurses here to help Leandro because if it wasn't for these nurses, I think we would have a hard time," said Garcia.

Over the years, the NICU program has come a long way.

The Level Two Neonatal Intensive Care Unit offers 31 beds and provides in-house pediatricians around the clock.

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