Erika and Stephen Jones, a couple from Florida, received the devastating news that their unborn baby girl had Down syndrome when Erika was 18 weeks pregnant. The couple – who also have a 2-year-old daughter named Audrey – were terrified at first, but quickly accepted their unborn daughter’s differences.
Unfortunately, just as they were coming to terms with Abigail’s diagnosis, fate handed them another, even more shocking blow. When Erika was 30 weeks pregnant, doctors found a mass on their daughter’s brain. It turned out that the mass was a very rare and cancerous tumor, and doctors told the Jones family that their baby likely won’t live long after birth.
Erika went into labor on the evening of August 5, about a week before her due date. And when Abigail was born on August 6, 2015, she exceeded everyone’s expectations: she was moving, opening her eyes, holding her parents’ fingers, and doing all other things a baby does.
But despite their daughter’s healthy appearance, Erika and Stephen knew that their time with Abigail was extremely limited. Following the birth, doctors determined that there was nothing they could do in order to treat the beautiful baby girl’s tumor.
The couple said that the neurosurgeon recommended that they take their daughter home and cover her with love. And that’s exactly what they did. Best Buddies, a non-profit organization, learned about their story, and they put them in contact with Mary Huszcza, a local photographer, who offered to do a shoot with the entire family for free.
Erika and Stephen said that they were immediately interested in the opportunity because they wanted to capture every moment of Abigail’s life. In addition to that, the couple is sharing their story because they believe that their daughter can have a huge impact on the world, and touch people’s lives.