- Posted October 3, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'The nurse who got my child's handprints'
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
My name is Tony Posnanski and I am a writer. Over the last month I have helped some wonderful people get their story out to the world which include Karen Suffern and her twins fight against bullying, women fighting breast cancer and a woman training for the Boston Marathon.
I received an email the other day and I could not ignore it. I wanted to help…
One of my readers, Stephanie, sent me an email she knew I would connect with. In the email was a Facebook post written by her friend Lorna Griggs. Lorna lost a child in 1999 and each year to commemorate her, she writes a little more about September 30th, 1999, one of the hardest days for her to talk about.
Lorna wanted to share a story of an exceptional nurse who took the time to rock her baby and get her handprints. Lorna didn't know this nurse, but the nurse rocked her baby, and used her warmth to pry open the baby's hands.
A baby that Lorna and her family were blessed to spend 52 minutes with.
When I asked Lorna what she would say to the nurse if she had a channce to say thanks, she did said…
“I have not forgotten your kindness. You gave me a priceless gift, and I will always remember you with gratitude."
She posted this on Facebook and got over 100 shares.
As someone who lost a child, I did not post this story to find the nurse. I posted it to thank all of the nurses out there and to share Lorna's story.
“Because Talitha’s birth was so unexpected (she was over 4 weeks early),
because her delivery was an emergency, and because her life was so short,
my out-of-town family members were not able to reach the hospital before
she died. We kept her with us for a few hours afterward so that everyone
could see her as they arrived.
And because she was dying, as soon as she was born she had been cleaned up
and immediately handed to us so we could spend as much time as possible
with her. (We had learned in June that she had anencephaly, which is always
fatal; there was nothing anyone could do to help her.)
And because of those becauses and because we had been so busy trying to
cram a lifetime into a morning, we realized too late that getting her
handprints and footprints had been neglected. By the time anyone
remembered, her little hands had already clenched in death and would not
When it's not even lunchtime and your heart has already been stomped on and
shredded into a million little pieces, it doesn't take much to ruin your
day, and this realization seemed like the proverbial last straw -- but then
a nurse who just happened to be in the room asked if she could try
She took Talitha down to the nursery and rocked her and rocked her and
rocked her, massaging and rubbing her hands the whole time. She was finally
able to get them warm and pliable enough to open. After what seemed like an
eternity, she came back with these prints for me.
I don’t remember her name. I’ve never been able to thank her other than at
the moment she brought the papers to me, but I often wish I could. I know
that cradling a stranger’s dead newborn certainly was not what she had been
planning on doing when she got out of bed that morning, and I am
tremendously grateful for the time and effort she took to give me such a
It is the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten, especially on someone else’s
So wherever you are, young nurse with the brown hair who was working at
Shannon Hospital in San Angelo, Texas around lunchtime on Thursday,
September 30, 1999, thank you. You gave my baby an hour or so of your time.
And through that act, you gave me a lifetime of memories.
I wish I knew your name.”