It's a very special first Father's Day for one dad who has been on the front lines of the pandemic.
Joseph Compitello is a physician assistant in the emergency department at Staten Island University Hospital in New York. Just a couple of weeks before Joe’s wife, Gabrielle, was scheduled to be induced, he was infected with the coronavirus.
Joe wasn’t able to be in the delivery room when his daughter, Adriana, came into the world.
“It was devastating,” he said. “You know, I, as much as I wanted to be there, obviously, not only to witness the birth of my firstborn, but also to be there to support my wife. We remained on FaceTime during the whole birthing process and the delivery.”
“I was heartbroken, more like, for both of us, but for him too because he's the best person that you'll ever meet,” Gabrielle said. “And, you know, I didn't want that moment taken away from him.”
Dr. Nicole Berwald, chair of the emergency department at Staten Island University Hospital, said Joe “was seeing patients day after day, taking all the precautions he was supposed to take, but he's still out there and in it along with the rest of our staff, so there’s always the chance you are going to get ill.”
Joe had to stay isolated from his wife to avoid spreading the virus to her and their unborn baby. They also wore masks in their home to keep everyone safe. Luckily, Joe’s case was not severe, and his wife never contracted the virus.
Joe was finally able to hold his daughter when she was 4 days old.
“As long as we’re together, we’re healthy, that’s the most important thing. And we’ll enjoy all these moments together,” Joe said.
Joe and Gabrielle said they have so much to look forward to now as a happy, healthy family of three.