When a 26-year-old Nebraska mom was 24 weeks pregnant with her first baby, doctors discovered that her unborn baby had a bilateral cleft lip and palate.
However, Sarah Heller and her husband Chris Eidam, 30, loved their son no matter what and continued with the pregnancy since he was an otherwise healthy baby. As baby Brody grew, Sara and Chris could finally start to see his unique smile more clearly and fell in love with it.
Instead of hiding his condition, they decided to share as many pictures as possible to help educate people about cleft lips and palates. “It is OK to be proud of your baby no matter the circumstances,” Sara said. “We wanted to change what ultrasound/newborn/first-year pictures on our Facebook/Instagram accounts looked like. We wanted to spread awareness of cleft lips and palates.”
Most people congratulated the new parents on their beautiful baby boy, however, Sara couldn’t help but feel devastated when someone on Instagram asked ‘What’s wrong with his face?’ in a comment. “I wasn’t prepared to defend my 3-month-old and why he looks ‘different’ from other babies. I decided to educate rather than create a confrontation because that is what I want Brody to do in the future,” she said. “I will want him to educate, to be an advocate for younger cleft kids who don’t have their own voice yet.”
However, just a few hours later, Sara’s devastation disappeared when she went out to dinner with Brody and friends. While eating dinner, the waiter handed Sara a folded napkin, which she assumed had a note inside. Yet when she opened it, she found a check for $1,000 with a note in the memo line that read ‘For the beautiful baby.’
“Tears fell from my eyes immediately and the happiness my heart felt is indescribable,” Sara said about the moment she saw the check, which has helped pay for some of Brody’s medical bills since he’s undergone lip surgery to fix his cleft lip. “The generosity of a complete stranger restored our faith in humanity,” Sara said. “Being Brody’s parent has taught me that people care. Strangers all over the country want to hear his story, and they want to pray for him.”
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[Featured Image: Instagram/Sara Heller]