The miniature fingers of a two-months-premature baby wrap around the seemingly large thumb of UC Davis volunteer donor Jim Donoghue.
Donoghue, who never had children of his own, volunteers countless hours at the UC Davis Medical Center Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). For the past two years he has comforted the fragile patients of the Children’s Hospital, sometimes for hours at a time.
Known among the NICU staff as the “baby whisperer,” Donoghue has a remarkable ability to comfort the premature and ill babies receiving care there. When a baby can’t stop crying, parents know they can trust Donoghue to soothe their child. He also loves playing with the babies’ siblings, who can easily become restless in the hospital environment.
Because of his generous gift during The Campaign for UC Davis, his love for these premature babies will be felt long after he’s gone—Donoghue has willed most of his estate to the care unit.
“It’s so rewarding watching a child grow and develop,” Donoghue said, “and know that my care is helping make that happen.”