Long distance delivery

BROCKTON -- Although he is thousands of miles away in Iraq, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Tyrelle Greene was at his wife’s bedside when she delivered their first child at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center earlier this month.

Greene, 22, who is serving with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, was able to be present for his daughter’s birth thanks to Tandberg video teleconference equipment at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center and Freedom Calls Foundation, a New Jersey-based non-profit that fosters communication between deployed troops and their families at home.

“My husband was so excited,” said Melissa Greene, 23, of Brockton. “I’m very thankful that the hospital has the video teleconference equipment and grateful that there have been so many people to help out and put everything together.”

Janelle Margaret Greene was born at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 7, weighing in at 7 lbs., 12 ounces and was 20-inches long. Greene was able to coach his wife through her delivery, and see his newborn daughter immediately. He was brought to Al Asad Airbase from his usual post to witness his daughter’s birth.

Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center recently installed the state-of-the-art video teleconference system, part of a $250,000 initiative across Caritas Christi Healthcare’s six-hospital system.

It was used to bring the miracle of life to a Marine serving his country.

“I’ll be home soon,” Greene told his daughter during their touching teleconference meeting.

Lance Corporal Greene, 22, was deployed in March to Iraq. He is scheduled to return stateside in October.

“I’m really proud of him, I couldn’t ask for a better husband,” Melissa said.

She and her husband grew up in the same Brockton neighborhood but had lost touch over the years. They met again at the Brockton Fair.

“That’s kind of when the sparks flew,” Melissa said.

The couple married in October of 2006 and Melissa moved to California where her husband was based. She became pregnant and after Tyrelle was deployed, she moved back to Brockton to be near family.

“It’s difficult. I’m fortunate I do have a good family that is here to support to worry too much.”

Her mother, Kathleen Conway, passed away several years ago. Her husband’s mother, Barbara Greene, who used to work in Central Supply at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center, died while the young Marine was home on a leave last year.

“We’ve been through the same trials. We both had younger brothers and sisters to take care of after our moms died,” Melissa said.

She and her husband, who were raised without fathers, are looking forward to seeing Lance Corporal Greene in that role.

“It’s going to be amazing to us to see us both enjoy fatherhood,” she said.

The Tandberg video teleconference equipment at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center is also used for meetings and presentations, cutting down on drive time and mileage expenses for staff and physicians. Caritas Christi is also looking at using the technology for stroke diagnosis, said Adam Hanson, regional technology manager for Caritas Christi.

“It’s telemedicine,” Hanson said. “If you have a high-definition video camera and an HD monitor, you can have a doctor that is qualified to diagnose potential stroke victims interviewing and interacting with the patient. They can look for the signs of a stroke.”

The Freedom Calls Foundation (www.FreecomCalls.org) is a charitable organization which built a satellite network in 2003 dedicated to providing state of the art video conferencing, telephone and Internet services to enable our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep in touch with their families and loved ones at home, free of charge. The foundation provides services to more than 40,000 soldiers and marines 24 hours per day and the Army has requested that the foundation install eight additional facilities in Iraq and two in Afghanistan in the coming months including more than 2,000 enterprise class video conferences from homes, hospitals and churches every month. The organization receives no funds from the military but relies on private donations to continue its mission.