“Oh my God. Oh my God!”
As his newborn baby son cried his first cries and took his first breaths, Cagney Wenk tearfully murmured those three words over and over.
Wenk, 26, had just witnessed the birth of his first child while sitting in a nearby chair hooked up to medical devices, head wrapped in a bandage, wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes. The new dad was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and has been through multiple surgeries.
He found out he had stage 4 glioblastoma three weeks before he and his fiancé, Jessica Li, were expecting their first child, his sister Marissa Wenk told The Huffington Post. He was diagnosed, she said, after experiencing headaches for three days.
Wenk is also undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for the cancer, which lies deep in the right lobe of his brain.
On September 18, when Li went into labor, Wenk’s nurses in the intensive care unit at Boulder Community Hospital wanted to do something special for the couple. They brought him up from the ICU to the maternity ward – medicines and medical equipment in tow – so that the soon-to-be dad could be there for the birth.
His nurses also enlisted the help of Colorado photographer and videographer Sara Boccolucci, from the organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who documented the birth.
“The video was really for the family to have it as a memory of a magical moment,” Wenk’s sister told The Huffington Post. “I think the video shows it all with their reactions. There were so many tears, emotions and so much love.”
Wenk described in the video how expecting a child changed his life.
“He got me a job. He taught me to relax. He’s taught me a lot of life lessons that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” he said.
Boccolucci posted the video on her Facebook page with the hope that viewers would be inspired to help the couple by donating to their GiveForward fundraising campaign.
“It is my hope that people will see the video, feel the love this family shares, and help lift them up and make a donation if they are able,” she told the Huffington Post.
Levon Robbie Wenk was born on September 18, 2016, at 2:12 a.m., a healthy 8 pounds, 8 ounces.
“We have all the love in the world around us right now,” Wenk said as he and Li, with Levon in her arms, lay bed-to-bed holding hands after the birth.
But really, the video says it all.
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