South Shore University Hospital staff enjoy emotional reunion with family to celebrate Walter’s first birthday

BAY SHORE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It was a joyous occasion for Yanira Soriano, her entire family and South Shore University Hospital (SSUH) employees today as they celebrated baby Walter’s first birthday – Paw Patrol-style.

Last spring, after 11 days on a ventilator fighting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Ms. Soriano, of Brentwood, LI, held her baby for the first time at SSUH. The heartwarming reunion was captured on camera as hospital staff clapped and cheered.

“A year ago, I was so sick, I didn’t even know I had baby Walter,” Yaniro Soriano told the gathered crowd through an interpreter. “I am so thankful and grateful to the team at South Shore University hospital for bringing me back to life so I could be here to celebrate my baby’s birthday today.”

Ms. Soriano was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia from COVID-19 on April 2, 2020, and immediately placed on a ventilator. Ms. Soriano, who was 34-weeks pregnant, gave birth to Walter the very next day – on April 3 – following an emergency C-section.

“When Ms. Soriano was in the ICU, I whispered in her ear and said she was not allowed to die,” said Denise Mannino, RN. “She was on a ventilator, really sick, and essentially died twice – it is truly a miracle we are seeing the family together now.”

One year later, mom and baby Walter are thriving, and today celebrated his first birthday inside a tent at the hospital. The happy event, which featured a Paw Patrol theme, was attended by the Soriano family, the SSUH doctors and nurses who treated Ms. Soriano, the hospital’s administrative staff and a special guest of honor, Chase from Paw Patrol.

“It was nice to see such a happy ending to this story,” said Donna Moravick, NP, executive director of South Shore University Hospital. “After being on a ventilator for 11 days, it was really encouraging at the time to see Ms. Soriano and baby Walter survive and thrive. I wish them nothing but a lifetime of happiness.”

Video and soundbites are available here.

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 76,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Miriam Sholder



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