Sammy Nickalls
September 30, 2015 8:03 am

Almost four decades ago, Amanda Scarpinati endured an unbelievable tragedy before she could even walk. In 1977, when she was just three months old, she fell onto a steam vaporizer and was taken to Albany Medical Center, where she was treated for serious burns. On the cover of that year’s Albany Medial Center report were a few black-and-white snapshots of Amanda as a baby, being tenderly held by a nurse.

“Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented,” she told the Associated Press. “I’d look at those pictures and talk to her, even though I didn’t know who she was. I took comfort looking at this woman who seemed so sincere, caring for me.”

Amanda had to endure years of reconstructive surgeries after the burn, but she always remembered that nurse in the picture. So Amanda decided to find that nurse to thank her almost 40 years later. She had tried 20 years ago, but with no success — however, the Internet was the saving grace this time.

Through social media, it only took Amanda several days to uncover a name: Sue Berger, who is now a nurse practitioner in Syracuse, New York. A woman named Angela who worked in the recovery room with Sue tipped her off. And when Sue found out that Amanda had been looking for her, she was “stunned,” she explained to ABC News. “I was just speechless and to think that someone would have thought about it all those years and to have saved the photo, as I did myself,” she continued.

Sue absolutely remembered Amanda as a baby, and even spent time wondering what had happened to her after she left the recovery room back in 1977. “She was such an unusual baby in terms of being so calm and not crying,” Sue told ABC News. “She must have been in pain and she was so trusting and just a beautiful baby.”

The two connected on the telephone. “It was wonderful, it was so good to hear her voice and have her explain emotionally where she was coming from,” Sue explained to ABC News.

But that wasn’t the end of their reunion. Yesterday, the pair were finally reunited in person after so many years. At the Albany Medical Center, they hugged each other, bursting into tears. “The room went dark, and there was just Amanda,” Sue told CBS News.

“I just wanted to hug her, that’s all I kept thinking. I just want to hug her,” Amanda told CBS.

Nurses have SO much impact on so many lives, and it’s so wonderful when that selflessness and kindness is recognized. Sue saved Amanda’s life with her compassion and grace, and we could not be happier that the two were finally able to meet after all this time.

“I don’t know how many nurses would be lucky enough to have something like this happen, to have someone remember you all that time,” Sue told CBS. “I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years.”

Related:

The most beautiful, intense mother daughter reunion we’ve seen

How long-lost siblings were reunited over Tinder

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