The day Katya got her final head drain out, and removed her NG tube (more on that in another blog post some time!), the amazing Child Life Specialist, Peyton, offered to take us down to the CCTV Studio where an organization called, "Flashes of Hope" was set up and taking pictures of the children and any family members who were around and wanted their photo taken with the child. The timing of this offer was impeccable--Paul had just arrived back in town the night before after working away from us 10 [tough and lonely] days, Katya was finally feeling well enough to smile, and naturally my heart was over flowing to be back with my hubby and a healthier Katya.
The emotions I feel every time I look at these photos are huge. If you look carefully in the photos, you can see Katya's IV port, my hospital ID bracelet, and other things that hint that this is not a normal photo shoot. Her head was full of 40 staples still and she was in her PJ's. But Katya was alive, after having survived an undiagnosed surgically acquired infection for days, an emergency surgery to remove all her small bone grafts (due to being overwhelmed by the infections from two different common skin bacteria that some how were introduced into her surgical area) and a handful of other stressful events. The joy and relief we all felt was huge. And I love that the photographer was able to capture these emotions.
I will be forever grateful to the photographer who was willing to come and capture that day for us. Katya missed her school photos this fall due to her surgery (and her school does not do a "make up day" for school pictures). I had been feeling very sad about that. This does not replace school photos by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still a nice record for Katya and us.
Thanks to "Flashes of Hope" we have these moving photos to share with our other kids and for Katya to look at over and over to help her process her hospital stay. They did a great job capturing Katya and snips of her personality.