Having a child is an exciting and terrifying time for the entire family, but particularly the mothers. An expectant mother has so many things to deal it that it can all be a little overwhelming. To learn that your unborn child will have birth defects makes everything come into perspective. It is truly one of the hardest things anyone can deal with, and, when the baby is born, the problem just gets even more present. For one mother, the journey was a long but ultimately one with a happy ending.
She then turned what she learned in that journey into a path for her to follow in her life – aiming to make the plight of these poor families known to all.
Suha Dabit’s daughter, Nadia, was born with Congenital Heart Disease, a relatively common problem for babies. It took the family and hospital six months to find a replacement heart for their daughter – and those months were some of the hardest ever. “After five and a half months of waiting, we received the call. They found a perfect match, a whole, four ventricle heart, her lifesaving gift, a new chance at life,” Suha wrote. “After nearly six months of waiting and praying, we were able to bring Nadia home again. This is why I became a photographer.”
Suha has now turned her talents to documenting the pain and suffering that other families go through as their children battle to stay alive and make it through. Her photos help the families deal with the crises but it also helps them to know that Suha has gone through a very similar experience. “I wanted other families to have portraits they could hold on to and cherish forever,” Suha explained.
Some of the children born with Congenital Heart Disease survive through the miracles of modern medicine and the organ donations of others out there – as in the case of Suha’s daughter Nadia. But others, and many that Suha photographs, are not as lucky and pass away, leaving their families in tremendous grief. One recent loss was so painful that Suha took to a social media post to share her experience with the parents Kristi and Justin.
She wrote, in the post that went viral,
“I could tell you that Adalynn is one of the 20 people that die every day waiting for a transplant. Or, I could tell you about my perspective of what it was like being in that room to document their last moments together as a family of six. But there aren’t any words to describe the pain and love I witnessed.”
It is for this reason that Suha relies on the skills and techniques she has learned in photography.
Suha shared photos of her time with the family, and ended her post with a glimmer of hope for the family and the baby girl that lost her life: “Fly high baby girl, you fought so hard and touched so many lives.” Suha is a brave mother to spend her life with these families, but she knows how hard it can be and she feels that she must do what she can to help.