The tragic story behind viral Facebook photo of hugging twins

The tragic story behind viral Facebook photo of hugging twins

“It's the first time they have ever touched and as soon as Mason felt Hawk he reached out for his arm and smiled this big.”

The moment their photo went online on Facebook, it took the Internet by storm. The photo shows 11-day-old twin brothers Mason and Hawk, with Mason's arm draped around his sick brother.

“It's the first time they have ever touched and as soon as Mason felt Hawk he reached out for his arm and smiled this big,” the accompanying caption says.

It’s such an intimate moment between siblings that the people on the internet couldn’t help but take notice.

Thus far it has received 91 thousand likes, four thousand comments, and 29 thousand shares.

At first glance it looks like an innocent enough photo, but there’s more to the story, and it’s heartbreaking.

“The twins were born Aug. 18, and doctors soon learned Hawk had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia,” said a TODAY Parents report. “He underwent several surgeries to fix the condition, which left him with a hole in his diaphragm that allowed his organs to shift inside his body.”

Sadly, Hawk succumbed to his condition six days after the viral photo was uploaded on Facebook.

In a follow up post, his parents Tommy and Brandy announced their son’s passing.

They wrote:

“Our hearts are saddened this morning as our sweet little man was called home to be with Jesus. He went very peacefully and we know he's no longer suffering. Please give us some time to grieve and try to start the healing process.”

The post accrued an overwhelming response of support and condolence for the family.

Learn more about What is congenital diaphragmatic hernia on the next page!

What is congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)?

According to Boston Children Hospital, CDH is a hole in the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs that is responsible for breathing) that allows organs from the abdomen to move into the chest.

It affects about one in every 2,500 babies, and can usually be diagnosed during a routine ultrasound or shortly after birth when a baby is having trouble breathing.

The outlook for babies born with CDH is increasingly positive with new surgical techniques and ways to support babies as they heal. However, it’s possible that your baby can have long-term problems and need regular follow-up care after going home from the hospital.

Although CDH’s outlook for babies born with it is increasingly positive, it’s possible that the baby can have long-term problems and need regular follow-up care after going home from the hospital.

READ: Twins hugging after birth will melt your heart

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