The following guest post was written by my friend Wanda Kolo to tell us about how photography changed her life.
Emotions ran high as I laid in the hospital bed with the realization that we would soon meet our precious baby boy. But, we would most likely only have a very short time to spend with him for he had only a 1% chance of survival. The Chaplain came rushing in asking us if we would like to have a volunteer photographer from NILMDTS come into the room and photograph our final moments with our son. I don’t remember thinking much about it at the time but agreed to have them do it. Honestly, I was too sad to even think about photographs….little did I know that these incredibly beautiful photographs would bring healing to my life.
Our photographer, Scott Leins, was amazing! We never even really knew he was in the room. We had two precious hours with our son and Scott was careful not to infringe upon any of that time. All the shots he took were very natural and captured moments that I may have had difficulty remembering due to the intense emotions and medication I was on at the time. I recall the day I received the photographs and beautiful DVD presentation of our time with Chase. I was in awe at the creativity and beauty of all the photos. My heart was able to appreciate the small amount of time we had with our baby instead of focusing on what we did not have. I had something concrete to remember our time together. I had beautiful professional photographs of our son that I would never have had the opportunity to have taken if it wasn’t for NILMDTS. My heart was filled with hope that there are people out there who will give of their talents and time to make a difference in someone’s life with no expectations in return. Scott stayed the entire two hours we had with our son and snapped photograph after photograph not missing a single precious second we had with him. There are no words to thank or express how much we value and appreciate the gift NILMDTS gave to us that day. It’s been nearly two years and I still look at those photos as if I’m seeing my son for the first time. They have allowed me to remember, to heal, and to be thankful for the time I had with him.
It’s my plea to any photographer who would like to change the lives of countless grieving parents to consider volunteering your talent and time to organizations such as NILMDTS. These parents are going through so much at this time that they do not consider the importance of such things as photographs. I can tell you through experience, these photographs were the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Please visit Chase’s memorial page to view more precious photographs like the ones above. Keep Chase’s memory alive by visiting his site and leaving a message in his memory.
I know photography is changing countless lives in this world. Please email your story to me so we can share the power of photography. Email your stories and photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org