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Ohio dad makes heartbreaking request, and the Internet responds

TNS Regional News • Jul 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Nathen Steffel and his wife, Emily, wanted one good picture of their daughter.

They wanted a photo without all the breathing tubes that obscured young Sophia's face since the day she was born.

Sophia, who was born May 30, died Thursday. She lived her short life in the hospital -- first at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and then at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Before she was born, she had already been diagnosed with a hepatic hemangioma, a type of tumor, in her liver, according to her father. While on a waiting list for a new liver, Sophia died of complications.

Her parents, from Kalida in northwest Ohio, wanted to remember her face without all those tubes.

So Mr. Steffel took to Reddit.com , where he asked for someone's expertise to Photoshop the tubes out of a picture he posted. He expected a photo or two.

What he received overwhelmed him with gratitude. More than 2,300 comments of support fo far, and hundreds of photos of young Sophia, the way she would've looked without the medical equipment.

"We were overwhelmed with all the pictures, paintings and drawings," Mr. Steffel said in an email. "So many kind words and condolences as well. I'm surprised so many strangers took time out of their own lives to help me out. We will cherish these wonderful photos forever."


By Kelly Lecker - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

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