July 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM ET
A grieving father’s simple appeal to strangers has resulted in a beautiful gift: Portraits of his daughter, finally free of the machines that surrounded her during her brief life.
The Ohio dad, whose baby died last Thursday, posted a brief request on Reddit over the weekend: “My daughter recently passed away after a long battle in the children’s hospital,” he wrote.
“Since she was in the hospital her whole life, we never were able to get a photo without all her tubes. Can someone remove the tubes from this photo?”
The response was huge, with commenters submitting beautifully retouched photos and even drawings for the grieving father.
Nathen Steffel, who posted the request, sent a brief statement to TODAY Parents about the experience.
“I didn’t really want all the publicity, I just wanted a picture,” Steffel wrote in an email. “What I received was a whole lot of love and support from complete strangers.”
This was one of the retouched photos submitted by a Reddit user.
His daughter Sophia was born May 30 and lived just six weeks, he said. She died from complications from a hepatic hemangioma, a liver tumor, he wrote on Reddit. …
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