One military wife received an emotional surprise from her husband, who has been deployed thousands of miles away for the last year. And the surprise couldn’t have come at a better time.
When Cydney Cooper, of Topeka, Kansas, gave birth to twin girls on Jan. 24, her husband Skyler, an Army staff sergeant, was unable to be there, as he was in Kuwait. The babies, Emma and Kyla, were placed in the neonatal intensive care unit because they were born prematurely at 33 weeks after Cooper had an emergency C-section due to the flu. On Feb. 5, Cooper got an unexpected visitor at Stormont Vail Hospital: her husband, who wasn’t supposed to be home until spring.
Cooper posted a video of the moment Skyler surprised her on Facebook, which has since been watched more than 8.8 million times.
“1 year of crazy, 1000s of miles, 1 solo pregnancy and delivery, 48392 Skype calls, some superheroes, a few plane rides, 12 NICU days, tons of help from family and friends, and many tears later. A soldier came home,” she wrote in the post.
Cooper told HuffPost that she felt “pure relief and excitement” when she saw her husband walk into the hospital room with flowers and balloons in hand. In addition to the twins, the couple are parents to two little boys, Leighton and Corbett.
“It meant everything,” Cooper said of her husband’s return. “I had been pretty sick the whole pregnancy and that was hard on the boys because I wasn’t myself and couldn’t play like I usually do all the time. The boys didn’t understand why I was gone during the days to see our girls [at the hospital] and I felt terrible leaving our girls alone at night. When he walked through the door everything was OK again.”
“One of my first thoughts after registering what was going on was that none of my children have to be without a parent again,” she added.
After reuniting with his wife at the hospital, Skyler Cooper went home to surprise the boys — a tender moment also captured on video. Cydney Cooper said that while the deployment was tough on her, it was especially difficult for her young sons missing their dad and not fully understanding why he was gone.
“He worked hard to stay in their lives the entire time he was gone,” Cooper said. “He read stories and sent books to them. I made walls of pictures and deployment clocks. They remembered him the minute he walked into the door because they never forgot.”
Emma and Kyla are still in the NICU, but their mom says they’re “doing great.”
“We haven’t had a major health scare and are just waiting on them to grow a little more. They are almost home!”
Watch the heartwarming videos above.