Early this year we launched a competition to find someone special.
Someone worthy of winning a FREE NEWBORN PHOTO SHOOT!
With all the sadness surrounding the war in Ukraine, and the negativity regarding the rise in the cost of living, it was our intention to try and lift the mood a little.
To inject some positivity.
We decided that the prize should be a full newborn photo shoot AND all of the edited images .
A prize worth over £500.00
The twist was that you had to be nominated by a friend or family member to be entered.
The response was phenomenal!
It really warmed our hearts reading all of the nominations , and we would have loved to have been able to award a prize to each and every nominee. If paying our bills wasn’t necessary – we’d have done just that!
Choosing a Winner
When it came down to deciding on our free newborn photo shoot winner, Molly was nominated by three different friends/family members.
Her story was so touching, it was a no brainer.
Molly and her partner had met Maddy previously, back in 2019, when she brought her daughter, Hattie for a newborn photo shoot. A lovely family, and Maddy thoroughly enjoyed creating a fabulous gallery of newborn images for them.
It was bittersweet to see the nominations for Molly, lovely that her friends and family were nominating her, yet sad to see the reason.
Sadly, aged 19 months old, in April 2021, Hattie was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
SMA is a neuromuscular genetic condition which causes weakness in the muscles. Unknown to them, Molly, and Hattie’s Dad, Rhys are carriers of the defective gene, with a 1 in 4 chance of them having a child affected by SMA. Hattie was that 1 out of 4.
Molly and Reece had watched little Hattie regress over several months, prior to diagnosis. She had lost the ability to crawl, was unable to weight bear on her legs, and even sitting up was becoming difficult for her. As parents, seeing your child in pain and struggling is heartbreaking.
The people in Molly and Rhys’ lives who nominated them were so impressed by their bravery, and how they stepped up to become the best team possible to care for Hattie. They felt they deserved a reward.
They spent hours researching physio techniques to practice at home, they worked hard and pushed Hattie harder.
This was noted in each and every nomination, how neither parent ever stopped to feel sorry for themselves. Only concentrating on being the very best support for Hattie and giving her the best chance for improvement.
The Newborn Photo Shoot
Hattie’s little brother was born in April and Maddy loved meeting baby Raife and seeing Molly, Rhys and Hattie again.
The prize was one of our Ultimate Newborn Photo shoot , which are the all-singing, all-dancing newborn session, including several set ups, colours and poses as well as family and sibling shots.
Maddy had a great time photographing this very special family, who have pulled together so well in the face of adversity.
Help From the Community
Through the summer of 2021 the local community came together and helped raise money for Hattie so Molly and Rhys could buy her the equipment and physio she needed. This included someone running a marathon for her, a photography competition, a calendar shoot and a large raffle.
The support that was given to them as a family was overwhelming, and the money has enabled them to buy Hattie her own wheelchair giving her the independence she needed along with other equipment and private weekly physio.
Heartwarmingly, Mollie told us that the progress Hattie has made is just amazing. They were told it was unlikely she would regain the ability to crawl, she is now crawling again. They were told she may never stand, she is now standing. And they were told she wouldn’t walk. Hattie is now walking independently in parallel bars and is waiting for a walking frame so she can start walking around the house.
All of this in just one year! A year of uncertainty has turned into a year of hope.
Mollie told us,
“Anyone who knows Hattie, knows what a character she is, she brightens up a room with her beautiful smile, you can’t help but fall in love with her. She is the most amazing little girl, strong, independent, clever, resilient and most of all hilarious! She makes us unbelievably proud every single day. And she is now the best big sister to her brother Raife.”
“Following Hatties diagnosis we made an Instagram page for her, to allow us to raise awareness of SMA, to document her journey and progress and to connect with other families around the world with children who have SMA. If anyone would like to follow her journey, her page is: hattie_sma
It is so important for us to raise awareness, every 5 days a baby is born with SMA, it is the number one genetic killer in babies and infants but is not on the newborn screening. A trial has started in Oxford putting SMA on the newborn screening with hopes that parliament will pass it for all newborns in the near future so families don’t have to go through the heartache we and so many other families have.” Hattie’s family have shown bravery, selflessness and astonishing perseverance to get the very best for her, which has clearly been duly noted by the admiring friends and family, who lovingly nominated them.
Maddy felt privileged to be able to capture some beautiful memories for them as their prize.