Nazareth Good News: Visiting Nurse Delivers a Surprise After 38 Years

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When Annadale nurse Eileen Baez first knocked on the door of a patient's home, she could hardly believe who answered the door.

As she came face-to-face with her former high school teacher, she became emotional, as she had not seen him in 38 years.

"He opened his door and I just felt the tears coming down my eyes and it was my high school teacher," Baez said. "So I introduced myself and I said 'Mr. Romeo, I'm your visiting nurse assigned to teach you about your medication, but I was also your student 38 years ago.' His eyes and his whole face just lit up. I was so happy."

As a home-care registered nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Baez was called upon to care for her former teacher -- 86-year-old Rocco Romeo -- as part of her job.

Both Romeo and Baez lived in Brooklyn before moving to Staten Island - Baez moved to the borough 12 years ago and Romeo moved to Todt Hill six years ago.

Although Romeo was a teacher for 42 years and crossed paths with many students, he said he remembered Baez's voice when he answered the door.

"Sometimes if you don't recognize the face, you still remember the voice, especially the way she was talking," Romeo said. "I couldn't believe it. I was really surprised."

Aside from teaching Baez, Romeo also taught Baez's two brothers and her husband at Nazareth High School in Brooklyn.

"Back then, he was a teacher teaching me how to improve my language skills -- and 38 years later, the student is teaching the teacher how to take care of himself medically," Baez said.

Baez visits Romeo once a week to help prepare her patient for an upcoming surgical procedure. They discuss their time at Nazareth High School, recalling memories from both the student's perspective and the teacher's.

Baez explained that it's been "just an overwhelming experience."

 

Article originally published by the Staten Island Advance. By Annalise Knudson aknudson@siadvance.comhttp://www.silive.com/news/2017/06/good_news_nurse_and_teacher_me.html

 

 

Back to News