There’s a seemingly endless stream of ‘cute baby’ photos everywhere you look online. But, this pic of twin brothers Mason and Hawk Buchmeyer is taking the internet by storm!
Not only is the photo of the awesomely adorable babies super-sweet, but it also has a truly touching story behind it.
Baby Hawk was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). CDH is a rare condition, affecting roughly 1 in every 2,500 to 4,000 births, according to the Canberra Hospital and Health Services. As a baby develops (during pregnancy) there’s a hole between the chest and abdominal cavities. It’s a completely normal part of baby’s fetal growth. In most cases the hole closes by the end of the first trimester. But, for some babies – it doesn’t. When this happens the stomach, liver, intestine and spleen can push into the chest cavity.
If the abdominal organs are filling the chest cavity, baby’s lungs have nowhere to grow. Babies with CDH may have extremely small, underdeveloped lungs. Some babies born with CDH can be stabilised in the hospital with a ventilator after birth. This is followed by surgery to close the hole, typically one to two days after birth.
The photo of the twins was taken 11 days after birth, while Hawk was on the ventilator. Mum, Brandy Guettler told CBS12 News that brother Mason was the one getting fussy. “And the nurse said why don’t you try laying him down next to Hawk. I said, ‘Can you do that?’ So we laid him there and all of the sudden as soon as he felt Hawk, he reached his arm out and grabbed him and just started to smile. The two of them knew there were there for each other.”
When mum snapped the pic (and posted it), the snuggly photo went viral almost immediately. The boys’ father Tommy Buchmeyer said, “We posted the picture for people to see how they were doing since we were so far away at Shands in Gainesville.” Even though the family posted the photo for those who they were closest to, it quickly spread across the Internet. Buchmeyer added, “We didn’t expect it to take off the way it has. We have been contacted from Ireland, Scotland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, people from all over.” So far, the post has more than 115,000 responses and over 27,000 shares.
Sadly, not even a week after the picture was taken the family lost Hawk. In an update to their Facebook page, the family said, “He went very peacefully and we know he’s no longer suffering.” They also asked, “Please give us some time to grieve and try to start the healing process.”
Our hearts go out to these parents as they mourn their baby boy. Through their heartbreak, hopefully parents everywhere will become more aware of CDH and how it affects families.