PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A determined dad on the Treasure Coast vowed to be there when his new baby boy was born. The only problem, that father was currently serving our country on the other side of the world in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Rasik was stationed in Afghanistan but was not going to miss the birth of his son, Benjamin, last month at Martin Memorial in Stuart.
"It was the happiest moment of my life followed by the saddest moment of my life when I found out he couldn't be there," said Genevieve Rasik, Benjamin's mother.
Her husband is in the middle of a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
It was known that Mr. Rasik would be able to be physically present for Benjamin's arrival. That is where a strong internet connection and Skype came in. "I was skeptical that it would even work," said Genevieve.
But the couple gave it a shot anyway. During Genevieve's planned c-section, her husband's voice and image was beamed into the hospital room - live via Skype.
"I looked to my left and saw my husband. Even though he was so far away, he was there," said Genevieve.
Dr. Pete Papapanos helped facilitate this so-called 'cyber-birth'. "I thanked him for all the good things are troops are doing overseas for us and how they are keeping us safe," he said. "I told him I was going to do everything I could to keep his family safe."
Separated by many miles, this new arrival was still celebrated together as a family. "Words can't describe how much it means to us that he was there," said Genevieve. "He didn't have to miss the birth of his child and I could have the support that I needed at that time," she said.
The Rasiks have two other children - twins, who are 13 months old. Benjamin and his father are expected to meet in person in the spring after Mr. Rasik's deployment.