NEW JERSEY — Joe Compitello is a physician’s assistant at Staten Island University Hospital.

When he started experiencing flu-like symptoms back in March, he thought he had caught a bad cold.

“I was pretty much in denial, thinking maybe it’s just a 24-hour bug, but in the back of my head, I was thinking it could be COVID,” Compitello said. “I started feeling warm, developing chills and I knew at that point that something was up.”

Working in the Emergency Department, Compitello saw many patients. Then, when he received a positive COVID-19 antibodies test, he knew it would be devastating for his family.

At that time, his wife, Gabrielle, was eight months pregnant.

When it came time to deliver, though Joe couldn’t be with her in the Labor & Delivery room, Gabrielle was determined to have her husband with her in spirit.

“My mom was able to be with me in the hospital and basically from the moment I stepped into the hospital to the second we left, Joe didn’t get off FaceTime,” Gabrielle said. “When I say three straight days on FaceTime, I’m not kidding, he really was.”

Gabrielle gave birth to baby Adriana on April 6, 2020, just 10 days after Joe started showing symptoms.

Now, as baby Adriana celebrates her first six months of life, the Compitello family is grateful to have their health and beautiful baby girl.

“It really felt like the world was going to collapse right as I was giving birth,” Gabrielle said. “Even though we had a pretty rocky start and we didn’t bring her into the world the way that we planned, really we couldn’t be more grateful that we’re all healthy and have so much to look forward to.”

Together, they’re eager to start new traditions as a new family-of-three.

Joe and Adriana