It will be one year on Friday that an East Hartford family was forced to say goodbye to their loved one who was deported back to the Dominican Republic.
He was here legally for over 30 years.
Huddled around a laptop is how the Ferreira family is forced to communicate with husband, father and grandfather Domingo, who is in the Dominican Republic.
On Friday, it'll be one year since he was deported.
He came to the United States at 14 and was in the country legally.
He was the family's sole caretaker.
Decades ago, he committed a crime and did jail time.
He was put on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's ?radar after his identity was stolen.
The past year hasn't been easy for those he left behind, especially his wife and children.
"It doesn't seem real that it has been a year but if people knew half the things we've been through, one thing after another, it just hasn't stopped. It's hasn't gotten easier," said Diane Ferreira, Domingo's wife.
The family lost their East Hartford home to foreclosure, and over the summer, Domingo's oldest daughter involved in a serious car crash.
She had to learn how to walk again.
"The helplessness that Domingo felt just being over there and not here and us not knowing is she going to make it? Is she not," Diane said.
Domingo's youngest daughter gave birth to his first grandson eight months ago, and he still hasn't seen him.
His 3-year-old granddaughter who he helped raise since birth is having a hard time with the changes.
"She feels he left her and doesn't want to talk to him on the phone. That kills him. That kills him," Diane said.
She has seen her husband just three times in the past year, and his oldest daughter took the trip once, but everyone else hasn't seen him since he left.
Domingo has also been out of work which has added to his stress.
"This was a man who work two to three jobs and to go to a country where he has no contacts, no employment opportunity in the city we ended up in. It's killed him emotionally," Diane said.
A fundraiser is being held for Domingo next week, and the money will be used so he can start up his own business.
The fundraiser will be held on Friday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Congregational Church South on Main Street in Glastonbury. It's $10 per person.