Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja sings a welcome to every baby he delivers at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. As an intern, he learned the practice from a doctor at Allegheny General. When that physician retired, he asked Dr. Andrew-Jaja to continue the tradition. He has been doing it ever since.
The singing starts when the baby enters the world. When the mood in the birthing room is right, Dr. Andrew-Jaja leads the staff in singing the birthday song to the newborn. Sometimes he adds a soothing lullaby, and he often comes into the hospital rooms of new mothers to sing “What a Wonderful World.”
After the Magee-Women’s Hospital posted a video of the singing doctor, Reddit picked it up, garnering nearly a million views. In the video Dr. Andrew-Jaja says:
When I’m singing to those babies I think that I’m singing to a future important person. That’s the credit I give to all of them. So, to me, it’s a wonderful thing in my hand, the miracle of life. And the rest of it is that it’s a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crisis going on everywhere for a moment, when you see that miracle of life in front of you.
It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of crisis and despair. We see plenty of reasons for hopelessness in the daily news. But every baby is a new spark of hope. We have a responsibility to welcome those new lives and to do our best to ensure they are loved and supported to reach their full potential. The future depends on that.
My thanks to Mike Lancaster for telling me about the good doctor.