Grieving dad overwhelmed by kindness of strangers

Baby Sophia in hospital

When baby Sophia died in hospital at just six weeks old, her devastated dad posted her photo on social media asking if someone could Photoshop the hospital tubes out of it. The response was incredible.

A beautiful photo of a sick newborn baby

In the post on Reddit, Nathen Steffel says his daughter passed away after a battle in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “Since she was in hospital her whole life we were never able to get a photo without all her tubes. Can someone remove the tubes from this photo?” he says.

He goes on to explain that she was born with a hepatic hemangioma – a mass of tangled blood vessels – in her liver.

“She was on the waiting list for her liver (transplant) when she passed from complications involving the pressure on her abdomen due to the hemangioma,” he says. “We knew from the first ultrasound; we just didn’t know the gravity of how bad it would get.”

baby Sophia photoshop

His post struck a chord with Reddit users, who took up the challenge in droves. Among the responses submitted were photos, paintings, drawings and even an offer of a full-colour 3D model of Sophia.

In a subsequent post, Mr Steffel says the response “is really amazing”.  “Everyone, you have made my day. All I wanted was a nice picture. What I received was a lot of love and support from a bunch of strangers.”

baby Sophia painting and sketch

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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