Erik and Stephen Jones are from Jacksonville, Florida and are awaiting overjoyed their second child. But in the 18th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound reveals to them that their unborn baby is showing telltale signs for Down syndrome. After the first shock, the couple decides FOR the child that already has a place in their heart. 12 weeks later the family learns that the child is also suffering from a brain tumor.
The tumor is so aggressive that, if operated on, it would grow back immediately. Chemotherapy would be deadly for the newborn. As the little Abigail is born on August, 6 the parents already know: they won't have much time with their child. But as they hold Abigail in their arms, they cannot believe their luck: "She moves, giggles, sticks her tongue out, opens her eyes, holds our fingers, and does all the things that babies do. She really impressed us and beat all of our expectations," tell Erika and Stephen.
Because of the brain tumor, Abigail only has a few weeks or at most months to live. For that reason, the parents take her home so that they can spend as much time as possible with her and her 2-year-old sister Audrey.
The photographer Mary Huszcza caught these wonderful moments on camera. Every moment is invaluable. "I want people to see the beauty and hope that still existed next to the grief and sadness," says the photographer.
"So many people think that this is a hopeless and tragic situation," says mom Erika. "And sometimes that's exactly how it feels. But the moments of peace and joy outweigh the sadness by far. When Abigail dies, it won't be in a plastic box in the hospital. It will be at home with us, surrounded by love and held in our arms."
For parents that must endure similar experiences, the Jones family has some advice: "We normally expect the worst, but in reality it is often completely different and better than you expect. You'll survive your child's illness. Or the loss of your baby. Life is a roundabout of joy and sadness."
These wonderful pictures will always remind the family about their little treasure - regardless of how short the time with Abigail was. If these pictures also moved you to tears, then SHARE these moving photos with everyone you know. Moments like these can only be written by life.