A grieving father has expressed his gratitude to the Reddit users who worked to remove the hospital tubes from a picture of his late baby daughter, after she died aged just six-weeks-old.
Nathen Steffel, of Ohio, reached out to users of the forum by posting a picture of his daughter Sophia on the site after she died from complications from a hepatic hemangioma, a liver tumour, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Mr Steffel explained his daughter had been hospitalised since her birth, meaning he and his wife were not able to get a picture of Sophia without tubes in place. He told the forum she had been transferred to the care of specialists at Cincinnati hospital and was on the waiting list for a liver transplant when she passed away on 10 July.
In his initial post, he wrote: “Photoshop Request: My daughter recently passed away after a long battle in the children’s hospital. 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?”
His request was rapidly met with editing attempts by users, who began submitting their photoshopped versions of the picture, along with sketches and oil paint impressions of Sophia.
His story also saw an outpouring of condolences from Redditors. One user wrote: “I teared up thinking about being in your place”, while another said: “I recently had a daughter. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. You have my deepest condolences.”
Mr Steffel also told another user, who said they were applying for speciality training in neonatology at Cincinnati, that the staff there who treated his daughter “were amazing, all of them”.
Mr Steffel went on to thank Reddit user tacothecat for their “awesome” version, adding: “I showed my wife and she teared up. Thank you so very much”.
Speaking to Today, Mr Steffel said he was “overwhelmed” by the response to his post, saying: “My wife and I were so grateful so many people took the time out of their own lives to either send a nice message of sympathy or an awesome drawing.”
After receiving various attempts at changing the picture, Mr Steffel thanked users on the forum for their efforts, writing: “Everyone you have made my day. All I wanted was a nice picture. What I received was a lot of love and support from a bunch of strangers. Along with a lot of great photos, drawings and paintings. Thanks everyone!”