A Missouri nurse reunited this summer with a young man she helped deliver over two decades ago.
In late June, Ben Hellebusch, a nursing student at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, was doing a clinical rotation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and his instructor told the nursing staff that he was a quadruplet and had been delivered at that very hospital when he was a baby along with his three brothers.
Hellebusch's story was already unusual but then another detail stood out to Debbie Layton, who's been a nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital's Neonatal Assessment Center for the last 26 years. She caught wind that Hellebusch and his brothers were all named in an alphabetic fashion and she quickly realized she'd been there when the Hellebusch quadruplets were born.
"The memorable thing for me was when mom is pregnant and babies are inside, we label them A, B, C, D, and so on … but now they're 1, 2, 3, 4. But back then, they were still A, B, C, D. Well, I remember them so well, because their mom kept with that theme and named them Adam, Benjamin, Christopher and Dylan. And that's why I remember Ben so vividly … because I thought it was the cutest thing that she did that," Layton told "Good Morning America."
"We are named alphabetically so Adam was the firstborn. So he's A," Hellebusch added. "I was the second born, B, and then Chris and Dylan."
- 1July 11, 2022
- 3August 18, 2021
"My mom was just talking about how they were trying to figure out what names to call all of us and I think she said she wrote down like one or two names for every letter in the alphabet. And I guess whenever the time came, they just decided to go right down the list," he said.
When the two crossed paths, Layton said it was "shocking at first."
"I was pretty surprised that I saw him and I couldn't believe it. It was pretty astonishing to see him at 22 years of age," she said.
Hellebusch was also surprised and added, "How often do you get to see the person who helped take care of you let alone being in that room?"
"It was a cool experience," he said.
Hellebusch also has two younger sisters – Elizabeth and Maria – who are also pursuing nursing careers.
The 22-year-old said he and his siblings, especially his quadruplet brothers, developed a tight-knit bond growing up in Washington, Missouri.
"We're all close. Definitely have to be close to your quadruplet boys. We all shared the same room when we were younger and had a great relationship, still do," he said.
His family is very supportive of his future career path, one he said he chose because he wants to help others.
Layton is also excited to see what's next for Hellebusch and hopes to keep in touch with him going forward. "I want to see where he goes and what he does and just say hello now and then and see what he's up to. I think that'd be kind of neat," she said.
She also hopes he considers taking care of babies as well. "I told him to go into neonatal nursing," she said. "I said you should try to go run with the NICU. There aren't many guys in neonatal nursing, but we do have one or two and I said he would probably be good at it."