When Brandy Guettler and Tommy Buchmeyer shared a heartbreaking photo on September 1 of their 11-day-old twins touching for the very first time, the image quickly went viral with more than 28,000 Facebook shares. The picture showed Mason grinning and hugging his brother, who was hooked up to a ventilator in the hospital.
“As soon as Mason felt Hawk he reached out his arm and smiled this big,” the Fort Pierce, Florida-based parents wrote underneath the image.
Guettler tells Us Weekly that Mason was fussing right before the picture was taken. “A nurse suggested that we lay them together,” says the 32-year-old mom. Mason relaxed instantly. “It was a very emotional time for everyone that was standing there,” Guettler tells Us.
Hawk, who was born with a rare condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, passed away just eight days later on Wednesday, September 7. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, CDH “is a hole in the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs that is responsible for breathing) that allows organs from the abdomen to move into the chest.”
“Our hearts are saddened this morning as our sweet little man was called home to be with Jesus,” Hawk’s mom and dad wrote on Facebook. “He went very peacefully and we know he’s no longer suffering. Please give us some time to grieve and try to start the healing process.”
Guettler tells Us that she and Buchmeyer have been “clinging” to Mason. “He brings a calmness,” she says. “Tommy and I just had a breakdown … and then we pulled back together and said, “We’re just going to have to take it day by day.’ It’s never going to be easy … but at least we have Mason to hold onto.”
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