Deployed Dad Attends Daughter’s Birth, Virtually, on Veterans Day

Active-duty military members understand that sometimes personal sacrifice comes with the privilege of serving their nation.

Fortunately, one Greene County father and Sergeant in the US Army, did not have to miss the birth of his daughter on Veterans Day because of his deployment overseas.

“It was hard at first because he’s away and he’s never missed his children’s births,” said mother Sarah Maldonado Hurd, as she prepared for delivery in the Birth Place at Albany Medical Center Friday morning. This is her fourth baby, a girl – Adelina Daniella Hurd.

But thanks to the Hospital’s Labor and Delivery and Information Services teams, father Bill Hurd was able to be at the hospital virtually from his military base in Africa. The team set up an iPad to video chat from the hospital room, and the operating room during Sarah’s C-section.

“I’m super excited. It’s exciting to have the possibility to see my child being born from so far away,” Bill Hurd said.

The Information Services team began using video chat on iPads with patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, when visitors weren’t allowed in the hospital. When End Use Manager Adam Grogin heard of Sarah’s situation, he said he was happy to help.

“I think it’s pretty awesome,” he said. “These are the things we take great pride in here, being able to come up with a solution for what is a unique situation.”

“Honestly this is amazing. We thought he wasn’t going to be able to be here at all for this,” said Sarah. “I was going to use a cell phone and try to get some type of video. So, it was nice they said they would use the iPad and have it on a stand, so no one needs to hold it.”

Sarah did not pick the date; it was a complete coincidence that her c-section was scheduled for Veteran’s Day. Not only is Bill deployed, but Sarah’s father, Daniel, a US Marine Corps veteran, is celebrating his birthday today too, and was at the hospital for his granddaughter’s birth.

“It feels like it’s all around the most American story, and I feel like she’s going to be the most patriotic little baby!” said Sarah.

“This brought a sense of pride and happiness to the whole team. The staff in The Birth Place do little things like this each and every day, but admittedly, doing this today, and being able to honor an active-duty soldier’s wishes feels extra special,” said Nurse Manager Janine Cantalupo, adding that she and the team hope to be able to do this for more families in the future.

Sarah Hurd added, “Albany Medical Center has made this such an amazing experience for all of us. We are so appreciative!”