Dial-in daddy! First-time father has to watch the birth of his daughter via FACETIME while sick at home awaiting coronavirus test results – after his wife went into labor a MONTH early
- Jack Hedges, 39, of Bedford, New York, began experiencing symptoms like high fever on March 27
- He couldn’t get an appointment for a COVID-19 test until April 4
- That day, his wife Valeri’s water broke, a month before her due date, so she drove to the hospital alone
- Doctors connected him to the birth over FaceTime
- Two hours after their daughter Adrienne was born, Jack’s test came back negative; he thinks it must have been the flu but says he’s never been sicker
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A New York father had to watch the birth of his first child over FaceTime after coming down with COVID-19 symptoms.
Jack Hedges, 39, of Bedford, New York, had been experiencing symptoms like high fever for a week, but had been unable to get a test before his wife Valeri’s water broke — a whole month ahead of her due date.
Good Morning America reports that Valeri drove herself to the hospital alone, where doctors placed a FaceTime call so Jack could watch his daughter Adrienne’s birth from a safe distance.
Staying safe: Jack Hedges of Bedford, New York, stayed home while his wife Valeri gave birth to their daughter Adrienne because he was awaiting COVID-19 test results
Tuning in: Doctors FaceTimed the new dad so he could witness the birth of his daughter
Jack started showing symptoms on March 27, including a fever — but no respiratory distress. He was ‘bedridden’ for three days, with a fever peaking at 103.5 degrees. He said it was the ‘sickest’ he’s ever been.
He tried unsuccessfully for days to get an appointment, but wasn’t able to schedule one until April 4.
That day, his wife’s water broke. She wasn’t due until May 5.
‘Here we are a month early, I’m still sick and I can’t go to the hospital with her,’ Jack said. ‘There were moments of immediate panic.’
Valeri, 39, went to the hospital alone, where she tested negative for coronavirus.
Jumping the gun: Valeri went into labor a month before her due date — the same day Jack finally managed to get a coronavirus test
Twist: Just two hours after Adrienne was born, Jack got his test results back. He tested negative for coronavirus
The next day, April 5, doctors FaceTimed Jack while Valerie was in active labor.
‘I could see a little bit of my wife and doctors moving around and they kept telling her, “Push! Push!” he said. ‘I was [also] encouraging her. It was a joyous, but surreal experience.
In an unexpected twist, just two hours after Adrienne was born, Jack got his test results back. He tested negative for coronavirus.
Jack said that if he didn’t have COVID-19, he must have had the flu — or else, he figures, the virus was already out of his system by the time he got tested.
Love at first sight: Because Jack was able to provide his negative test results, he was allowed to come to the hospital to visit his daughter. He, Valerie, and Adrienne are now home
‘I’m terrified there’s worse out there than what I had because what I had was brutal,’ he said.
While he said he’s ‘disappointed’ that he couldn’t support Valeri in-person and she had to go through it alone, both still feel confident they made the right decision.
Valerie added that she is ‘so grateful’ for the nurses and staff at Northern Westchester Hospital for helping her through.
And because Jack was able to provide his negative test results, he was allowed to come to the hospital to visit his daughter. He, Valerie, and Adrienne are now home.