Words are powerful—being mean and vicious hurts others; being kind can heal the broken-hearted. How we choose our words is completely up to the individual. This story illustrates how four simple words coming from a well-meaning individual can uplift a human being from despair.
Sara Heller and her husband Chris were struggling everyday to live normally with their baby boy, who was born with a facial deformity. Sara always believed in her heart that her baby is as beautiful and perfect as any other baby in the world. She also knows it’s not easy for everyone to understand. A note with a few kind words coming from a pure heart helped her to continue to be strong for her son.
At 24 weeks, the couple from Omaha, Nebraska, were informed that their unborn baby had a cleft palate. It came as quite a shock to them because nothing out of the ordinary was detected in the first ultrasound scan. The strange thing was that the doctor asked them if they would like to terminate the pregnancy. Sara thought it was a terrible thing to ask, looking at the images of her precious baby growing inside her. Sara and Chris naturally chose to go ahead with the pregnancy.
As all mothers do, Sara also wanted to share her joy with the world. She believed that preconceived notions about what babies should look like as posted on social media is not realistic, so she decided to post pictures on Instagram right from the start. The ultrasound of her little boy Brody show images of him in the womb.
Images of Brody in the womb as posted on Instagram
Sara and Chris were eager to break the stigma associated with birth defects. To them, Brody was a beautiful baby, and he deserved to be happy with himself. They wanted to celebrate his life and share him with other people. They also wanted to raise awareness regarding the cleft palate, how it occurs, that it happens to many children, and what can be done regarding the same. It occurs when the baby’s lip, or mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy.
Brody’s condition did not allow him to eat properly. In the beginning, he needed a tube through his nose. Later, a G-button was used to feed him.
Brody was born on 7 October 2016.
Brody, with a tube through his nose enabling him to be nourished. He still had a smile for everyone, even though he was going through such a tough time.
Brody’s progress was documented on Instagram.
Sara found that most people reacted positively. One night, however, when Sara was out with Brody and her friends, she read a mean comment on one of her photos of Brody.
The comment read, “What’s wrong with your baby’s nose? I’ve never seen anything like that. It doesn’t look good.”
Sara replied to the message with a link about the medical condition. She tried to hide her hurt, but her heart was broken.
As she was sitting there feeling helpless, somebody must have noticed or overheard what had happened. Within the space of 30 minutes, the waitress came to her table and asked for the mother of the baby. She handed Sara a rolled up note, which read, “For the beautiful baby.”
Sara came undone on the spot. She could not hide her tears of gratitude. The note also had a check for a $1,000 along with it. She told her friends that the negative comment had just been washed away.
The check came just before the lip surgery Brody needed. It came just in the nick of time and went towards paying for Brody’s medical expenses.
The generous donor left his address on the note. Sara thanked him and sent him photos of Brody with his new smile after the surgery.
Brody wears a gorgeous smile—he’s a happy and content little boy.
Sara still highlights her son’s life as much as possible. She continues to put up Brody’s progress online. She aims at letting people see that birth defects do not have to stop someone from living normal lives, or stop them from loving and being loved. She also wants to raise awareness about cleft lips and palates and the on-going medical procedures used to correct it.
The power of a mother’s love for her baby is nothing short of miraculous! Simone Jonker