Jim O’Connor is a strict Vietnam veteran and tenured math teacher whom you don’t want to mess with. He sports a short, military-style haircut and has sharp, watchful eyes that regularly scan his classroom.
After years in the military, he has an authoritative voice that catches all of his students’ attention. He also doesn’t put up with much out of any rowdy and restless teens in his high school classroom.
As an algebra and calculus teacher at St. Francis High School in California, Jim takes a “no bull” approach to teaching and reigning in 32 teenage boys. The students know him for his strict demeanor in the classroom, but when they learned of his nickname outside of the school, they were floored.
It turns out, Jim is known after 5 p.m. and on weekends as the baby whisperer. Jim is a TLC Volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he has devoted several days each week for 20 years cuddling ill infants.
Jim first lent a helping hand at the hospital when a friend convinced him to participate in a blood drive. He has type O negative blood, which is highly sought after as the universal blood type.
So Jim returned regularly to donate both blood and platelets. He managed to emerge as the hospital’s top donor, sharing 72 gallons of blood so far.
So when Jim kept catching glimpses of sick and struggling children and babies at the hospital, he asked how he could help them. A lifelong bachelor without children, Jim discovered he’s awesome at cradling babies.
Jim enjoys rocking them, walking them, feeding them and just generally doting upon them. The nurses, physicians and staff at the hospital love when Jim volunteers, especially since all of the wee ones are drawn to him.
Watch how Jim interacts with the most delicate of those who need extra love and hugs. The medical staff and families greatly appreciate his tenderness.
See for yourself how he’s earned the special nickname and a newfound respect from his students.