Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia was born at 34 weeks with very little chance of survival.
Steffel was able to spend six weeks with his new born daughter. The entire time, he only could see Sophia with the ugly, medical tubes attached to her. In his grief, he reached out to complete strangers on Reddit, posting:
"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?"
What happened next was astounding. People from all over the world responded - some offered words of encouragement and support, while others sent beautiful images of sweet Sophia:
Steffel was blown away by the generosity and posted this message to everyone who responded:
This is really amazing. 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. A long with a lot of great photos, drawings and paintings. Thanks everyone!
Steffel also told Huffington Post that while he and his wife "cherish her real photos because that's how she was," seeing their daughter without the hospital tubes was incredibly meaningful.
It is so encouraging to see the beautiful things that can happen when strangers come together to help someone through a tough time. Hopefully, these beautiful tributes to Steffel's little Sophia will help his family hold on to her memory forever.