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

By Tatiana Pina/Providence Journal

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.”

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Filed under: Larry King Live

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akan edet   April 29th, 2009 4:44 am ET

Iam strongly of the opinion that thoes guys in north korea,should be left to test any thing they so decide it rocket,missile,bombs,even fire else will we know they are still around.imagine north korea telling the united nations security council to apologise to them.we have a saying in nigeria that says:"you can cook for your village to feast,but will you be able to eat if your village cooks for you"?

Dave of Detroit   April 29th, 2009 9:10 am ET

The one thing that I will say about modern technology is that it can be used to help families in important time sof their lives. This is a great story-Be even greater when the family is actually together again. Maybe President Obama can actually get the world on the same page and united against those who would destroy all peace!

Terry, TX   April 29th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

Finally a good was a good story until someone mentions President Obama.

George Cauthen   April 29th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Hi there Rosie and family, Congratulations, and I'm so glad your husband was able to participate via the Internet, even though he was in Iraq being a Marine in a combat zone. How marvelous human beings are when they want to connect people who have an important event: the birth of their child. Our love goes out to you-all.

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