Safe flight, little hero

We met just two years ago but this wonderful little boy and his family quickly carved out a place in my heart. Nathan was born with “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” which essentially means he was functioning with half a heart. When he was mere days old he had the first of several open heart surgeries.

As a photographer with the Littlest Heroes organization I met these wonderful people when I went to their home to capture family portraits for them. When then eighteen-month-old Nathan first saw me coming through the door with my big, black camera bag, he hid shyly behind his mother. He thought I was yet another visiting nurse come to subject him to more needles, treatments and examinations.

So, together we sat on the floor and examined the contents of my bag – cameras, lenses, a flash unit and so on. Once that mystery had been solved Nathan was more than happy to play with me and let me shoot endless numbers of photos of him and his family.

And in minutes I had fallen in love with this beautiful, happy, charming and loving child.

Nathan’s whole family, mother, father, grandparents adored this little hero who so bravely withstood all of the medical treatments and medications he needed just to get through each day. Every day that he woke up and smiled was a blessing indeed.

And smile he did, ensnaring the hearts of all who met him. At three he was still a little charmer, adored by his parents, family, friends and all who met him.

And then his parents gave him another gift of love; a little sister, Jenna.

Once again I had the privilege of capturing more cherished memories for this family, now a group of four.

This handsome little hero had more challenges in his short life than could ever be considered fair, and yet he kept laughing, giggling and loving as only a special little boy could do.

Last week he returned to the IWK for yet another surgery. With a heavy heart and tears on my cheeks I read a short entry on Facebook this morning from Nathan’s mother Sue. With what must have been a herculean effort for her, she wrote that she, “is absolutely 100% completely heartbroken. Fly high little man. ♥”

Nathan lost the battle this time and gained his angel wings.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Susan, Todd, Jenna and their family and friends. There are no words to heal the hole left in everyone’s hearts and lives by the loss of a true little hero.

Farewell Nathan. You will be missed.


21 thoughts on “Safe flight, little hero

  1. My heart goes out to this family! I too, am a “heart parent” of a HLHS’er, so this hits very close to home!!! Saying prayers for this family and all that knew Nathan!!! heart hugs, Joy Kimble

  2. My heart and thoughts go out to this family. I too, am a “heart parent” of a HLHS’er, so this hits very close to home! I am praying for this family and all that knew Nathan. Heart hugs, Joy Kimble

    • I am so sorry for your loss…..I am also a “heart parent”. My son has Tetrology of Fallot. My prayers and thoughts go out to you. Beautiful tribute to Nathan. Lynn Orpwood-Couture.

  3. So sorry to hear. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. God Bless and heal and bring you great peace. He is with Jesus and he is very happy there. No pain, needles or sickness. God Bless this new little angel. You will see him again some day. That is the great hope that God gives. Never more to part. Love and Hugs to all. (Vicki’s parents) Gordon & Nadine Murray

  4. This is beautiful, and so touching!!! My thoughts and prayers go out to Nathan’s parents, and extended family! May this sweet angel rest in peace, and may his family find comfort in the sweet memories they have made with him! ❤

  5. Our sincerest sympathies to the family. The greatest gift is the birth of your child…. the greatest sorrow…. is having to let him go. God bless Nathan and his family.

  6. so sorry to hear about your loss…my little guy is just a little over three and I can not imagine losing him or going through what your family has…my heart certainly goes out to your family

  7. Reading this made my eyes well up….my heart goes out to this family. Fly high Nathan, look after your family from above. You can forever be their guardian angel.

  8. Nathan your journey here on earth was short, but your impact was great. I will never forget the hugs and the smiles. You were a brave little man, and you brought such joy to our lives. You are now home with your Creator, and you will never have to worry about heart defects or any other struggle. You have blessed my life beyond measure. Todd and Sue know that my prayers are with you!

  9. Our time here on earth seems so fleeting and yet the seasons of our grieving so endless. To lose a child must be the most unbearable of all. Love and prayers for Nathan’s courageous parents, and for you, Ceci, who allowed your own heart to be filled and broken with theirs.

  10. Psalms 23
    Keep these verses very close to your heart. God is able, when no one else can, to help in these hours of shock and sorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now and in the future. Linda: stay strong because you are needed now more than ever. Little one, isn’t it wonderful and peaceful to be with Jesus?

  11. RIP Nathan, my prayers are with his family during this difficult time xox
    This i a beautiful tribute thanks for sharing.

  12. Sorry about your little man as I know you and your family will miss him. It is hard to lost a family member and it is very hard to lose a child but remember he in Gods arms now in Heaven, and you will see him again.

  13. I am eternally touched with your story. I have 3 1/2 little grandchildren and cannot imagine what you are going through. I will pray for peace and comfort for you and your family. Remember he is with Jesus and happily playing among the flowers in His garden, never more to feel such things as pain or unhappiness. God Bless you and your family with peace and strength and comfort.

  14. I am so truly saddened by your loss. We unfortunately know exactly what you have been through and how you are feeling right now… 😦 Our beautiful Angel was also born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and was taken from us following his third heart surgery at the IWK. It will be 11 years in June & not a day goes by that his name isn’t spoken in our home …. He will FOREVER be in our Hearts <3. Sending Hugs to Nathan & his parents.

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