New York City, NY (NursingSalary.org) – 41 year old Wanda Rodriguez, a head nurse at Calvary Hospital, had a touching encounter with the father she has never met. One evening she overheard the name of a terminally ill patient—Victor Peraza—and she froze, it was the name of her father.
Her parents separated when she was still an infant. She doesn’t have any memories of her father, who walked away and was never to be heard of again. She stepped into the patient’s room and noticed a striking resemblance. “He was my complexion and had light eyes, I said wow, it has to be him!” said Wanda in an interview for ABC News. She asked him if he was comfortable, and whether he had any children. When he said that he had two daughters, one being Gina and the other Wanda, she thought she was going to faint. She was close to going into shock.
Her supervisor immediately wanted to move Peraza onto another floor, due to the obvious potential conflict of interest. Wanda refused, at least for the moment. She went back to her father’s room and told him who she was. Again, it came as a shock that he said he already knew she was his daughter. He had recognized her from the very beginning.
Needless to say, the night of the reunion was magic. There was awkward silence when Wanda asked where he had been all these years. But the answer to the question didn’t really matter now, she said. “I held his hand and then I was holding him and hugging him,” she said. “It was a magic moment, and he started singing ‘This magic moment,’” said Wanda for ABC News.
In the end, Peraza was transferred to another floor, or conflicts of interest might have arisen. However, Rodriguez continued to visit him on the breaks as well as before and after work. She brought him home-cooked meals, decorated the room with pictures of his daughters and grandkids and is usually to be found after work hours sitting at his bedside, no matter whether he’s awake or sleeping. Peraza told her he didn’t expect such a welcome, since he hasn’t exactly been a good parent, but Rodriguez doesn’t hold any bad feelings. She’s finally met him, after so many years.