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The Reunion at Calvary Hospital

A nurse and a terminal cancer patient both found what they were looking for one evening in a hospital room.

The NY Daily News had a terrific article last week, a great example of how God can bring together two people who need each other, in the most amazing of ways.

Calvary Hospital hospice nurse Wanda Rodriguez never knew her father. He left when she was just a baby. Her mother raised her and her older sister Gina alone in the Bronx borough of New York City. Over the years, Wanda always wondered about her father, despaired that there wasn’t any one she could call dad. Especially now that she was a parent herself, and her kids asked about their grandfather.

One evening at the hospital, Wanda was very busy. Her unit was nearly completely full. Then the last bed available was filled by a terminal cancer patient transferred from another hospital. It was going to be a long night.

The patient, Victor Peraza, also wished things had gone differently in his life. Over 40 years ago, he married a woman he thought he loved. But they were too young. He wasn’t ready for responsibility. The relationship soured, and Victor left…leaving two young daughters behind.

Victor regretted his decision. Especially when, years later, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and realized that unlike the other patients he saw at the hospital, he had no family to be by his side. But it was too late to undo the mistakes he’d made, wasn’t it?

Wanda looked at the list of names of her patients that evening. The last one stood out to her. The name seemed familiar. A name she’d heard long ago. She walked into his room.

Victor was in a beige hospital gown, connected to machines monitoring his vitals. Wanda welcomed him to the hospital. And she asked if he had any children.

“Yes,” he said, sadly. “Gina and Wanda. They’re grown now.”

Wanda choked up. “I’m Wanda,” she said. “I’m your daughter.”

Father and daughter cried, holding each other for the first time. Victor begged for forgiveness. Wanda forgave him. He couldn’t make up for all the years that had been lost, but in the time he had left, he could give Wanda what she wanted. Someone to call “Dad.” A father who was proud of her. And Victor finally found the family he’d been missing: his daughters and his grandchildren.

Victor doesn’t know how much time he has left, but he does know he’s been given a gift.

“It’s a miracle, it’s God, it’s fate, it’s hope,” he told the Daily News.

Just don’t call it coincidence.

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