Touching "Family Portrait" Of Wings With Newborn Has Bittersweet Backstory

When Steven and Gloria Kimmel’s son Isaac was born in 2014, the couple were ecstatic. Their new bouncing baby boy seemed happy and healthy. However, at the tender age of just 6 months, Isaac was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy.

This rare, progressive genetic disorder causes the muscles and nervous system to gradually atrophy, and SMA is seen across the globe at a rate of one out of every 6,000 live births.

The Kimmels are residents of of Kendallville, Indiana. The loving couple decided to share all the details of Isaac’s trials and triumphs with SMA on a Facebook page called Isaac’s Strength. Doctors informed Steven and Gloria that the condition was terminal, but the new parents decided they were going to relish every moment with their son and even participated in a clinical trial for a new drug for SMA patients.

Although he was getting better for a short time, he ended up coming down with a viral infection that he wasn’t able to fight off, and baby Isaac passed away at 14 months old.

In order to help process their grief, which Gloria described as “unimaginable,” the parents decided to have matching angel wings tattooed on their backs.

As Gloria explained in a recent interview: “The tattoo was meant to be his angel wings. He was half of each of us, so we each had one of his wings to hold us. He was the angel that was holding us together when we were so lost without him."

"The tattoos are a reminder that he is always with us in spirit.”

Around 18 months later, the Kimmel family finally expanded again when their new daughter, Claire, was born.

To share their happiness about their new daughter and honor their late son, Steven and Gloria had a special family portrait taken. The portrait showed a swaddled Claire looking up at the camera, with her resting on their backs, their matching angel wings aligned perfectly on either side of her.

Gloria’s sister Grace Arend posted the touching photo on Twitter.

“My sister & her husband got tattoos of angel wings after their son died 2 yrs ago,” Arend added to the caption of the tweet. “They had a baby girl in June. This moves me to tears.”

This cute yet meaningful family photo has already been shared on Twitter over 25,000 times and has almost 80,000 likes.

Gloria remarked in the interview that even two years after losing Isaac, she is still finding new ways to cope with her ongoing grief. As mental health experts know, grief for a major loss doesn’t have an expiration date.

Gloria says, however, that lots of support from loved ones and her the members of her church, as well as grief journaling, have helped her a great deal in coming to terms with her loss.

You can learn more about SMA and how you can make a difference in curing this genetic disorder by visiting CureSMA.org.

Source: Simple Most
Photo: Megan Miles Photography, Gloria Kimmel, GoFundMe

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