Military dad home for childbirth, honors doctor


When in the Army, many realize they could miss out on important life events while serving, like missing the birth of your newborn.
But a doctor at The Women’s Hospital at Deaconess went the extra mile to make sure that moment wasn't missed for one local family.

“I couldn't even imagine it going any other way than how it did,” said Keri French, who spends most of her time away from her husband, Chris, who’s in the Army, away most of the year.

Finding out right after he was deployed that she was pregnant.

“I get to talk to him a lot though so i still had his support and everything like that but he helped in every way that he could being so far away,” said Keri.

From the beginning thinking Chris wouldn't be there for the delivery, so Keri worked with her doctor to find a way to incorporate him into that special day.

“I had planned from the beginning he wouldn't really get to meet him until he was 3 months old,” said Keri.

Planning to skype Chris while she was giving birth, but a miracle happened… Chris finishing his mission, allowing him to come home.

“I found out a little while before I told her because I wasn't real sure,” said Chris.

Even though he was there for the delivery, he wanted to thank Dr. Elton Fennell for going the extra mile in case he wasn't. 

“Mr. French said, “Hey Doc I brought something for you,” and he started reaching over in the bag,” said Fennell.

Bringing back more than a gift.

“We flew a flag specifically for Dr. Fennell on a mission and was able to bring it home,” said Chris.

“I've been doing this for a number of years and this is certainly the most meaningful gift I’ve gotten,” said Fennell. 

Everything fitting perfectly together like a puzzle.

I don't even know if I can picture how the backup plan would've gone now cause everything went perfect,” said Keri.

“But it's been a matter of soaking every bit up and every moment that we can together now with a new son and everything that will come along with it in the future it's been a great moment,” said Chris.

(This story was originally published August 12, 2017)
 


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