April 29, 2009
Hero: Marine in Iraq assists in the birth of his daughter in a Rhode Island hospital room through a satellite link
Posted: 03:30 AM ET
Farrah Rose Gloria Sousa decided to arrive three weeks early and her 21-year-old mother, Ashley Sousa, was in labor and in a lot of pain.
Ashley’s mother Barbara Pierce, mother-in-law Janet Diauto and cousin Stacey Murt sat with her in the room at Women & Infants Hospital coaching her along with her husband, Nick Sousa, as she gave birth to their first baby.
“Breathe,” Nick Sousa would say to soothe Ashley when she cried out in pain.
But Sousa wasn’t in the room. A Marine Corps corporal fighting on the frontlines in Iraq, Sousa, 22, was 5,800 miles away watching the birth of his first child via a satellite link.
Women & Infants Hospital and the Freedom Calls Foundation partnered to establish the link that allowed Sousa, of Attleboro, to participate in the birth on Monday. There is no Internet infrastructure in place where he is serving. Freedom Calls helps troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan communicate with their families back home for free.
Tuesday, the couple had another video conference to talk about the couple’s virtual experience with the birthing of the baby. Ashley sat in a community room with her baby and a multitude of cameras from the news media pointing at her and her husband, who appeared on a television screen in his desert fatigues. Farrah wore a pink hat that said “I have arrived.”
Filed under: Larry King Live
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