A heartbreaking photo of a baby hugging his twin brother in hospital just days before he died has gone viral.
Twins Mason and Hawk Buchmeyer were born on 17th August. However, Hawk was born with a rare condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and was kept in hospital until he passed away this week.
Although severely ill, his parents Brandy Guettler and Tommy Buchmeyer posted updates of his condition and asked for prayers for their baby boy.
One heartbreaking picture, posted to Facebook, showed Mason comforting his brother during ‘the first time they have ever touched’ and has since received a huge response.
In the post, Hawk’s parents said: ‘This picture was taken a 11 days after they were born, 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. We thought it was time for everyone pulling for our boy to see this picture.’
Speaking to WPEC about the image, Brandy said that it was a nurse who encouraged her to lie Mason next to his brother.
She said: ‘He was actually getting really 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 a 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 they were there for each other.’
The image has since been shared over 124,000 times, with thousands of people sending messages of support.
However, the story has a tragic ending as after a series of good days, Hawk’s parents said their ‘hearts are saddened’ to say that their son passed away on Wednesday.
‘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.’
Hawk’s parents hope the photo will help raise awareness of CDH.