I asked friends and family to nominate anyone who has gone through a hardship and could use some uplifting by a gift of a photo session. When I had several people nominate Jessica and Chris for a photoshoot, there was no doubt in my mind they would absolutely receive a session! I’ve known Jessica since elementary school, but I didn’t know the extent of their family situation. After reading their story, my heart ached for them.
Their son, Jackson, was diagnosed during pregnancy with an atrial septal defect and a ventricular septal defect. This meant he had holes in the upper and lower chambers of his heart. It was allowing blood to be regurgitated the opposite direction in his heart. Chris and Jessica had doctor’s tell them to terminate the pregnancy because of the defects and that children with these defects commonly have Down syndrome. They decided not to terminate the pregnancy.
May 2014 Jackson was born, free from any chromosomal defects! A little over a year later he went in for open heart surgery. If they waited too long for the surgery Jackson would have died from drowning in his own blood in his lungs. The open heart surgery took 7 hours and there was a 2% chance he wouldn’t make it through! I cannot imagine the anxiety the entire family had during that time! Baby Jackson made it through the surgery and is now stronger than ever!
Jackson has so many people who care deeply for him. His mom and dad love him like crazy! He also has a sweet older sister, Cassidy, who adores him! After spending the evening with them it is easy to see why they are such an easy going and loveable family!
He will continue to see a cardiologist once a year for a checkup. His heart still leaks blood, so they have to keep a close eye on it. If the leak grows or begins to leak heavier he will have another open heart surgery to keep him healthy.
I am SO lucky to have been able to spend the evening photographing this family and watching little Jackson exert his energy! Thank you to those who nominated this family, they are AMAZING examples of courageous human beings! Jackson is an amazing little trooper!! He has endured SO much during his life already and is still full of joy and happiness! Cassidy and Jackson are incredibly blessed to have such strong role models to look up to!!