David Deutchman, known as the ‘ICU Grandpa,’ comforts sick children

Some people find it difficult to adjust to life when they retire from work. Gardening is a favorite pastime of retired people, but this man didn’t want to spend his life pruning bushes, instead, he wanted to help people. If you love heartwarming stories, and babies, then let us introduce you to David Deutchman, aka the ICU Grandpa.


David Deutchman didn’t exactly know what his life was going to bring when he retired from his marketing executive role in the early ‘00s. In a time of uncertainty, there was one thing he did know he wanted to do, help people. That was when he approached the staff at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to see if there were any volunteering roles available.

David Deutchman, known as the ‘ICU Grandpa,’ comforts sick children

Most organizations are never going to turn down volunteer work, and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was happy to welcome David onboard. Now all they had to do was find a role that would be suitable for the recently retired man.


David began by teaching at the healthcare facility. He became a teacher at the school, leading lessons for children staying at the hospital long term. While that definitely helped the children at the hospital, there was an opening that proved to be incredibly rewarding for David, and those he helped. Soon he was going to be surrounded by babies, and it was a match made in heaven.

ICU Grandpa

This was where David would earn the nickname “ICU Grandpa.” He was spending his time helping and supporting families whose babies were kept in hospital for longer than usual. The children were placed in neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and David became the friendly face to help those families through their tough time. His typical day now involves cuddling plenty of babies and speaking to their parents to offer them comfort while watching their kid struggle in its early days.

The Baby Whisperer

It wasn’t just the “ICU Grandpa” that David was known by on the ward, he was also dubbed “The Baby Whisperer.” David calmly sits in a comfy chair and just cuddles any babies well enough to be held. He sings gentle lullabies to them and just gives them an extra level of care that nurses and doctors aren’t always able to provide. His friendly face has helped make the ICU a happier place to be as parents and children get extra special treatment from David.

What do his friends say?

David said that his guy friends just don’t understand why he does what he does. He said sometimes the babies are sick on him or use him as a diaper, but he doesn’t mind, it’s all a part of the job. The most rewarding thing for David is getting to hold a baby that is in desperate need of help.

That time spent comforting a baby makes it all worth it for this retired marketing executive. He believes it has given him something to do that has a meaning to it and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.