I have hundreds of photos of Erin, some taken professionally, many that I spent a while getting just right and lastly those that just get caught in the moment.
I love some of the black and white prints I have taken, the lighting was good as was the composition and the background. However one of my all time favourites is this grainy image captured by Chloe. Little Erin has been through more than most in her short lifetime. She has spent six months in a spica cast, bound from belly to ankles. She has endured seven general anesthetics and two painful operations. She couldn’t walk and watched from the sidelines whilst her friends ran around enjoying the stage of toddlerhood. As a family it was a tough time and limited what we could do together. Birthdays, Christmas and other celebrations were interrupted with hospital visits and treatment plans.
Finally after many months she was cut free from her physical chains but still the invisable blanket of muscle wastage and painful joints engulfed her. The uncertainty DDH leaves us with is never ending.
At times we could see the desperation in her eyes as she wanted to get up and walk. She wanted to follow her brother, sister and cousin. She wanted to walk across the room and choose her own toy to play with. She wanted to push her dolly in its pram. In time she re learnt to crawl but taking her weight on her own two legs proved more difficult and she was understandably scared.
Finally we got to the point where her determination overtook her fear. As she finally managed to stand you will see the look of elation in both our faces. It was a truely emotional moment and tears of joy still fall when I stare at that picture and remember how we both felt.
The pure joy in her eyes and smile linger in this picture. It’s not clear enough to frame, not one for the mantelpiece or the hall stairs. But it is more than all of that, it is the one burned into my heart. The image I Carry close to me always – it was and is a picture like no other, a picture that gave her back her independence.
“This blog post has been written as an entry into the Tots100 competition in association with Boots Mother and Baby
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