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Friday, April 25, 2003
Red Cross Brings News of Birth in Rhode Island to Father Serving in Iraq -- On Friday, Mother Will E-Mail Photos Overseas, Receive Red Cross CPR Training

Earlier this month, Carmen Avila of Pawtucket gave birth to her fourth child in the parking lot of Women and Infant's Hospital in Providence. She never made it inside hospital on April 9th, and baby Jalisse was born in the backseat of a car.


Thanks to the American Red Cross, Carmen got to retell the story this weekend, for the first time, to her husband, Jose, a Marine flight mechanic currently serving in Iraq. He called his wife after the Red Cross notified him the baby had been born.

"His first question was, 'How's the baby?'" Carmen explained. "His second was 'Who does she look like?'"

Avila says that while her two older girls look just like her, this daughter - now two weeks old - looks just like her husband.

"She's going to be the most spoiled of them all," Avila said, as she recalled telling her husband of the baby's striking resemblance. "He sounded happy; he was laughing," she said.

On Friday, April 25th at 10:30am, at the American Red Cross of Rhode Island headquarters, 105 Gano Street, Providence, Carmen Avila will be e-mailing photos of the new baby to her husband overseas. In celebration of the birth of her child, and the Red Cross role's in connecting mother to father, the Red Cross will also present Carmen with a first aid kit and gift certificate for an Infant & Child CPR course.

The American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES) helps military members and their families cope with separation and other special needs related to service in the armed forces. The Red Cross provides emergency communication, in cases such as birth or serious illness, 24-hours a day, 365-days a year. Working with a commanding officer, the Red Cross can help facilitate emergency leave for a soldier to return home. We can also arrange for mental health services for a family member.

With more local troops currently deployed from Rhode Island than at any time since World War II, the Rhode Island Red Cross is playing a critical role in keeping families connected. The Red Cross is connected to every base around the world and every ship at sea.

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