The story behind a touching viral photo of newborn twins took a heartbreaking turn Wednesday.
Brandy Guettler and Tommy Buchmeyer recently posted a photo on Facebook of their infant twins — Hawk and Mason — hugging, WPEC-TV reported.
Guettler told WPEC on Tuesday that, although Hawk was undergoing treatment for a rare birth defect, it was actually Mason who needed comfort from his brother.
“He was actually getting really fussy,” Guettler said, “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 the 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.”
Buchmeyer told WPEC that they initially posted the photo so friends and family could see how the twins were doing since Hawk required treatment at a hospital in Gainesville, Florida, far from their home in Fort Pierce, Florida. It quickly gained attention online.
“Every day the numbers grow, 5.6 million people have seen it, 24,000 shares, 105,000 likes,” Buchmeyer said.
Hawk was diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is a condition “in which a hole in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to move into the chest, which prevents the lungs from developing normally, resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia.”
The condition is life-threatening.
“The whole ordeal is as bad as you can get,” Buchmeyer said. “The doctors aren’t giving us false hope. We know it’s a long shot.”
On Wednesday, the family posted on Facebook that “our sweet little man was called home to be with Jesus.”